The clarity of the place you came from
Being here in Buffalo has brought an odd peacefulness. Talking to my best high school friends, it seems like age 27 or 28 is when the optician’s viewfinder starts clicking more rapidly, past the hopelessly blurry until the big E is clearer than ever. People have found dream jobs, dream loves. My friend Eric says he was told that age 27 is when “Saturn returns” — meaning that all of the planets are in the same position that they were in when he was born. I know nothing of astronomy and am planning to research the veracity of this claim, but whether or not it’s true, it’s a beautiful notion, that eventually your entire being rotates back to the wellspring from whence you came and your destiny is marked out as brightly as the stars you were born under.
I am here in Clarence, NY, and it feels like I’ve been set adrift on an iceberg of chain stores, food and rest. I’ve only been here since 4pm but have already consumed much spaghetti sauce and ice cream, been to Target and lounged with Lisa in her comfy bedroom. She leaves the space heater on until she can’t stand it and then turns on the fan. I love the way she thinks. I’m typing on Christina’s laptop, and my fingers keep missing the keys — somehow these millimeters of key distance are messing with my mind. Zipper has been following me around the house; she’s an old lady golden retriever, with a white snout and big happy eyes, and she looks so optimistic despite her 12 people-years of life. I’m trying to remember myself at 15, when we got her, and I can’t even recall what I was like. I think I was just a prototype of a conscious human. Either that, or my memory is shot.
On a sunny 40-degree day when I’m wearing a heavy coat and hat and mittens, every object appears in sharp focus, someone has twisted the lens ever-so-slightly and I can see the crystals of snow melting in the slush, the stencil graffiti on concrete wall of the Swedish restaurant, the American flag rolled up and left on top of a newspaper box. Forty-degrees-and-sunny-in-winter is my new favorite state of being.
Am thinking of gray, of cold, of chills. Am listening to Manitoba. Am reading What is the What and am re-evaluating what “tough” means. Have lit a candle. Have made the bed. Am wearing a skirt over jeans and a soft blue new t-shirt. Have decided that when I’m too tired to speak to people, I shouldn’t try to force it. Am wondering whether synthetic hormones like The Pill would make me more or less crazy. Have had four cups of coffee today. Am sure that coffee is bad for me.
Charlie always enlightens me about music. He’s writing again at his blog.
Eliina has tagged me in something
Eliina has tagged me in a bloggy thing: “The rules: Once you have been tagged, you have to write a blog post with ten random facts, habits, or goals about yourself.”
10. “Muscato” is an Italian name. People get psyched about this sometimes — like my mechanic, who then gave me a sheaf of discount coupons, based solely on the fact that 100 years ago, my family came from Sicily.
11. I want to live somewhere desperately woodsy and rural someday and see if I can hack it. I want to see what it’s like to fall asleep to cricket sounds, to have a whole pack of sheep dogs running around the yard, to grow tomatoes and basil and then make them into sandwiches.
12. I’m not able to stretch very far, and thus gym class Presidential Fitness Challenges were always a ligament-tearing proposition. I could also never do a flexed arm hang.
13. I think my younger sisters are the two of the coolest, artsiest, most intelligent gals on the planet, and I never believed my mother when she told us — in the midst of a hair-pullingstravaganza — that we’d be friends someday, but I’m glad she’s right.
14. I’ve written exactly one novel, and it’s never been published. I began it at age 10 and finished it at age 13. It details a young girl’s journey through an underwater kingdom at the time of an apocalypse. I was a dramatic lass.
15. I’m considering purchasing a pair of leggings. I have not owned leggings since I was in the sixth grade and had sparkly rose-printed leggings that were actually too short for me at the time.
16. I’m trying to learn how to cook. Basically, I’m quite cash-poor, so I’m learning to cook by combining whatever happens to be in the fridge. For example: Tofu plus soy sauce plus frozen veggies equals tofu scramble.
17. I’m a great compromiser. I love when everyone is happy. But sometimes that comes at the expense of sounding like I’m taking a Big Important Stand.
18. I’m a haven for objects of bygone eras. My dad collects vintage percolator-style coffee makers, which means that every time I go home, he gives me one, so I have four at the moment. I also have six typewriters.
19. This web site needs an overhaul like nobody’s business. It’s on my to-do list.
20. I’ve never actually completed one of these tag-you’re-it bloggy things before. I feel so thoroughly self-centered but somehow oddly satisfied, like I’ve just eaten a giant frosted cupcake of blogginess.
I’m supposed to tag people now. Instead I shall just direct you to blogs I like to read, and if they see this they can write and if they don’t you can DIY it up and find ten things about them by scrolling through their posts: Deanna (goddess of the visual), Mary (rockstar of the poetic), Don (soothsayer of the theatric), Dennis (purveyor of witty observations), Dave (recorder of earthly ironies) and Megan (peddler of literary wonderment).
Rock, paper, scissors
This rant addresses a question I’ve always wondered about: How does paper beat rock?