I just wanted to say it once. But. I promise to report on: deep fried turkey, the reemergence of my twang, trucker’s watch (long story) con mi hermanito, and the sheer idiocy that is trying to go nicotine free during a dry Thanksgiving. Hello, holidays! Adios till next week, internet friends.
April 20-May 20
Your sign resists change largely because it makes you feel so out of control. This week you’re the one who is changing, but it’s the repercussions that are getting you frazzled. By letting go of your comfort zone, you may have caused a ripple effect of changes that are overwhelming you. You can’t run backward through that china shop, Bull, so just deal. (SFBG. Ouch.)
Your story is taking a hotter and wetter and more cosmically comical turn. The splendor and the rot are all mixed up. The line between your strengths and liabilities are hair thin. But have no fear. One of your dormant talents will activate in the nick of time. Your wild guesses will shed bright light whenever the darkness creeps in. And you’ll have even more emotional intelligence than usual. P.S. If your psyche tingles like a funny bone that has been tapped, it means that unanticipated help or useful information will arrive within 12 hours. (Free Will Astrology)
Uranus stimulates your innate understanding of human nature, which inspires you to become more active in your community. Think about how to share your gifts, and then, turn your thoughts into action. (Aquarium Age)
M. Sinclair: Tyler Perry IS in the new Star Trek. The first/only movie he’s done not in his canon. Total cognitive dissonance.
- Me: I just want to see if you feel bad about taking my banana. But if you don't, that's no fun.
- Carlos: What, you want me to feel *dripping voice* re-mooo-rrrr-ssee?
- Me: Sure. Remorse. That's cool.
- Carlos: I never feel remorse!
- Me: I think that makes you a sociopath. Did you wet the bed a lot as a kid?
- Carlos: *thinks* Nah, I got that shit under control.
- Me: Damn. Sociopath? Or serial killer? Well both. You're both.
- Carlos: Says you, Miss Immorality.
- Me: That's AMORAL, asshole. See? I don't feel guilty about everything.
On Wednesday when I get off of work, my parents will drive down to the Loop and pick me up in the minivan. We’ll get in the car and start down 55 all the way till we hit 40 all the way overnight to Oklahoma. Maybe I’ll be singing Johnny Cash or Lucinda Williams or Neko Case. Maybe I’ll be jonesing so bad for a cigarette my eyes water. As is, I try not to smoke round the fam and I’m needing a break.
And I hate the holidays and I always have. No, I’m serious. There’s these terrible pictures of me at age eight with this mushroom-Dorothy-Hamill haircut and a (in hindsight PRETTY AWESOME) hand me down sweater from my cousins staring at this turkey and my eyes are dead. I am not joking. My brother somewhere next to me grinning with his buckteeth and chickenlegs. Every year I want to order pizza and watch action movies with the family. Or anything other than my mother feeling forced to cook a turkey (never brined, I always want it brined, Christ) and the rest and my father making other dumb plans and being late or inviting foreign clients over that throws my mother’s inferiority complex into high heaven and my brother and I used to be allies and now, well, earbuds and need to please got in the way of that.
Still, there is a deep love for my salty So’Western family I can’t escape from. My grandmother and her hands of warm paper. Big empty lots. Phone trees that fly for miles. A smell that is dry and on fire and you can’t quite tell if its good or bad for you. Horses and dogs crying. Used to be we’d all be in that small ranch house off Indian Meridian and all the cousins running wild with the dogs, up trees, shooting cans off the fence. Now some got married and some just ran off and some just don’t bother. I worry about having to corral my grandfather like the stubborn burro he is into silence if he decides to fight with his wife and daughter. I’m too old to put up with that.
But I want them to be proud. Been a year and a half and I’m the first of the line with a little piece of paper that counts for something, right? There, grandmama, that’s the signature of my president. They don’t know the truth about Mills or what really went on there (but who does?), cos Christ, it’d just kill them.
So its not the prospect of eating deep fried turkey (I am excited) in a double wide amidst donkeys and step-cousins and dogs and crazy moms that exhausts me. Okay, a bit. Just that the Holidays are tiring. Right? They are. It used to be I’d get the best of the West, partying during finals, finishing papers, Christmas Cafeteria dinner, warm palmtrees, wine, and bittersweet goodbyes. Then snow, pristine and something I’d get to leave, winter too. Warm hugs, friends, cookies, family that missed me. New Years with people to kiss, cold cigarettes, cold cars, long drives.
Now its just winter and just hollidays and they say have buddy systems in place, have people you can talk to. That Christmas smoke with the boys sounds amazing about now. And there is always New Years. California Love Style.
But as is, when I drive past this stupid sign, this stupid town, in that stupid middle of this state, it’ll be the middle of the night and all cast in highway light. My family will be sleeping in the car and it’ll be all I got to not light up and curse. Or turn up the music loud to drown out that winter four years ago. When you went to school there and when I drove down the day I got back from being jet-lagged and tear-swollen leaving Oakland to see you and help you move out from State School. And this isn’t a bad memory, at least where it stands. There was barely snow in the fields. We bought cheap cigarettes and I finally felt average. Or like everyone else. In a good way. You know?
It was driving to see your boyfriend in a shitty dorm room in a cold college town. It was drinking bad vodka with his gay friends and making out in a bunk bed. Big cafeterias and warm mittens. I helped you move out.
Every time I drive past that sign something sort of lumps. This year it will be dark. And in a month, a new year, where I can start making piles of days where I wake up and know that that part of us that existed in winters is dead. Where I start a whole new year and seasons alone and forgetting you breathe.
There may be no Pixies tonight, but there is a dog to cuddle with and walk, writing to be done and, of course, TOP MODEL ON THE COUCH.
A sense of life lived according to love.
To some it means the difference they could make
By loving others, but across most it sweeps
As all they might have done had they been loved.
That nothing cures. An immense slackening ache,
As when, thawing, the rigid landscape weeps,
Spreads slowly through them - that, and the voice above Saying Dear child, and all time has disproved.” —Philip Larkin, from “Faith Healing” (I have been thinking of this poem all week)
- Me: Man. Look at all these Top Chefs with tattoos. Super trendy to go with all the pork belly.
- Mario: What the fuck? It's like... tattoos.... like.... Tamagotchi for cooks!