Recap--March 05

The Wind--Cat Stevens
A Little Less Conversation--Elvis Presely
Paperback Writer--The Beatles
Don't leave me this way--Thelma Houston
Satellite--Aimee Mann
Close to Me--The Cure
Gold Dust Woman--Fleetwood Mac
Aint No Way--Aretha Franklin
Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay--Ottis Redding
Sweet Jane--Cowboy Junkies
Goodnight Hollywood Blvd.--Ryan Adams
Blitzkreig Bop--The Ramones

Topics of Interest--
Unclipping our tounges -or- Adventures at the Honey Hole--Yes, I actually said it. I also may want to incorporate the idea of a shadow on skin dimpled by a fingertip.
Splosh--Sex in food, i.e: turning your entire body into a bowl of cereal or doin' it in a barrel of baked beans. Personally, I'm attracted to the idea of a bathtub full of tri-colored melon balls or red and pink heart shaped Jello Jigglers. A wine vat also comes to mind.
Snow--(again...) try usung anow as a chronology for a series of character sketches. Taiko and Rhyanna, Nov. 19 in 96+03, Easter in Berlin, Mt. Hood.

Certainly/Absolutely/Indeed--How many of these are there? Explore other options to replace the words 'yes' and 'okay'. Not just written but spoken as well--this is almost of more import.
"I could ride you until you cried." --M
"My sweet untouched Miranda"--The Decemberists
Todd Box--(alternate spelling...Bocks?) Mark William's fictitious pseudonym. This really, really makes me laugh.


On the eve of my departure, I've truly (I think) become to realize the importance of my move here/my leaving. I've been going on and on and on about my built family and my loyalty to my friends and all that that means: and yet, I've been hanging out with--get this--MY REAL FAMILY.

A few days ago, my sister related to me that she had three rather large boxes of memoribilia from my childhood. Now, most of this, I intend on/have thrown away, but there are a few items that I can't, now that I know again that they exist, do without. I found, amoung a bunch of crap, my old flair collection, some old girly transformers, and what I was truly hoping to find--all of my notebooks from the ages of 9-15.

Here's why this is important--here is a piece I wrote at 14. It literally scares me to read.

It's hard sometimes, to be honest with yourself. I mean, on the most basic, primal and instinctual level it's so hard to sort through what you want to do, and what they want you to do.
My skin still quivers like silver fish from his touches, I can still feel it coming--that sickly seeping feeling of pain; that regret that makes you want to cry and cry and stop eating until you finally die, but instead, you just look into those brown eyes and fake something close to a smile to try and ease the same pain that you hope to god that he is feeling as well. Of course, however, he's not.
Of course you wanted that to happen, of course you said yeah, but not then, not then, because then you're really in for it, you'll torment yourself until you can no more and hope to god it goes away but it never does, not for a long, long, long fucking long fucking time and you can tell yourself a million times that one more shower, one more shower will make it all right, but you find yourself once more curled on your side in the corner of the tub, getting scalded by the streaming water, your own salty tears flowing with the hot water, hitting your arms, back, legs like searing hot pokers.
1, 2, 3, a million fiery tounges licking you all over, taking things from you you never knew you had and then, just as quickly as it came, they stop, leaving you crazy and dead and hoplessly hopefully alone.

I don't have a date for this, but it was from a couple of weeks after the beginning of my sophomore year of highschool, just a few hours after my vey first invasive sexual experience. Notice the immediate and unintentional change of tense; it makes it reek even more of the dteachment I wanted to have from my sexual assault by a classmate; all that happened that one late night at his house when his parents were out of town. Now I am so detached from it all, I can barely remember what it was like. I merely relate the tale as some sort of cautionary story to young women who both have and have not experienced this fate, as if reguardless, everyone should know--especially because there are still people who were there, who I loved and went to school with and saw every day--who to this day do not believe me. I guess that is and will be my lot in life--and yet, somehow, I am finally not afraid.


What's in a name?

"Two thousand years ago the proudest boast was 'civis Romanus sum'. Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner.'" --JFK, June 26, 1963, Berlin.

While pouring over Pitchfork Media and thier review of the new Decemberists album with Jonathan, I breifly showed him this blog. He said the same thing everybody does.

"I am a Jelly Doughnut? Why is it called that? I don't get it."

So here's why.

"Those who believe the story correctly point out that the phrase "Ich bin ein Berliner" translates as 'I am a jelly doughnut', 'ein Berliner' being the common name for a type of jelly doughnut. He said it because while that phrase does truly mean 'I am a jelly doughnut,' it also roughly, but correctly, translates as 'I am one with the citizens of Berlin.'"

I was first told this story while nursing a sprained ankle on a snowy Easter Sunday in Berlin, and for some reason, I've always loved it. Can you imagine? The leader of the free world announcing to hundreds of thousands of Berliners that he is, indeed, a jelly doughnut. It's fucking beautiful. I wish I had been there.
Now there is definitely something lost in the translation that makes it hard to truly understand what it was like--what that actually sounds like for the phrases "jelly doughnut" and "citizen of Berlin" to sound so similar. It was Peter Counts who finally put this into perspective for me.

"Imagine Seattle in the same kind of situation--divided head of state of a troubled country, seeking the support of the world. It would be like a foreign diplomat coming here declaring: 'I am a satellite.'"

Now this also serves to clear up the mystery of my e-mail address. For those of you who are still confused, it is SATTELITESEATTLEITE. Two t's, one l; a citizen of a city who is not always around, but is always nearby. I'll miss you all. Thanks to all who came last night; it's people like all of you here that makes leaving so hard.


F the D

As many of you know, I am very fond of swearing in letters, i.e.:
"I swear to C Crystal, I'm gonna F'ing R the S out of you."
"Let's just F'ing make out Kyle, S."

Point being: if you are a fan of such language, you have to check out "Propriety 6/11/04 Episode 267" on TAL. Specifically, act one, "The Government Says the Darndest Things". Highlights include (but not limited to...) Ira Glass explaining how the FCC thinks the word fuck "invariably invokes a course sexual image", then goes on to ponder whether the phrase "fucking brilliant" makes anyone else in America other than the FCC think of what he calls: "penises in vaginas."

Listen. Please. And if you do a good job, a good job, I will be your best friend. I will be your best friend. Jackson, I'm looking at you.

Somebody Should

"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do," said English journalist Walter Bagehot. I don't agree with that in general, but it could temporarily be true for you, Scorpio. There may be no other activity that will generate as much satisfaction as refuting the low expectations others have had of you. Even classic thrills like sex, drugs, and rock and roll may not generate feelings equal to the bliss you'll enjoy when you accomplish what some supposedly knowledgeable person said was impossible. (my horoscope for the week of 3.24-3.30)

So I'm guessing that it all started at our old house, north of Seattle, when we became us and not just our separate entities. That's when Clara drank enough canned beer and ate enough psilocybin mushrooms to put herself into a waking coma right in front of our eyes. We were right there, and none of us had any idea it was about to happen; that she would black out, unable to move, that she would die. Right on our sofa.
Most of the time I think that it was then then we realized that it would be us, all of us together without a traditional support system of family and wisdom that would have to find our own path. When we were all forced to figure out what to tell the authorities, what to explain to her parents, how to stay out of trouble and what to do with her body that we became a whole. My best friends and I, through the death of a young girl, became a family.
Maybe I want to take that back--maybe it was after that--at least for me, when I lived in Miami, barely making it through my first summer there; day after day of sweltering heat and humidity strethching into another. I used to live in North Beach, on Marseilles Drive, and it was there that my phone rang, a city comissioner or inspector or some sort of official from Seattle calling to tell me my father had died. I searched every facet of my knowledge of traditional loyalty for some kind of remorse and was not surprised when it never came. I always knew deep down that this time would come--this time that I would let the normalcy of real family go and forge one that was truly beautiful. And I have.
Maybe though, it was far before that, before any of that happened that I began to build a support system for myself. Maybe it was before all of this that I realized that essentially, it would come down to me against everyone--save who I chose to share my life with me.
I might have been sixteen, with only my two best girfriends and a few carefully placed north Ballard streetlamps. It might have been there, me dancing about in the calf deep snow, our laughter echoing off the deepest and lonliest parts of the nightime. We were alone and invincible, completely unaware of what our parents, our brothers and sisters might think having seen us running and chain smoking in the four-AM cascade of silvery thick snowflakes. None of the three of us had ever seen so much snow in Seattle, and in our priveledge we felt special. We felt solid and stoic, knowing that it was one of the last times we would laugh all together--the three of us.
Maybe I only think it was then, a very long time ago because of my attachment to snow--the still and quiet has the tendancy to break winters doldrums and reinvent the city into a landscape so desolate and foreign that it is beautiful in it's solace. This idea will never leave me, that Seattle is most beautiful, most poigniant in the snow. It's a special time that few--even this cities residents--are not always lucky enough to catch.
It was this past January, me alone in my apartment, that my cat woke me from a deep sleep, meowing over her food dish, needing me to refill it. It was four in the morning and I, clad in but my PJ's and socks, lifted my self from my bed and made the short trek to the kitchen where she twirlled about my legs, dependant on me for her basic needs and yet aloofishly uncaring, purring as if only to assert a fake sense of love and loyalty. I smiled none the less, filled her dish, and set it on the floor by the refrigerator. Then I glanced out the kitchen window.
Hundreds of thick quarter-sized white flakes fell from the ceiling of grey clouds that insulated the city. Every car, lawn and sidewalk in the valley unfolding from the edge of my deck to the crest of the next hill was dipped in a sparkling iridecsent white, and I was alone in it's splendor.
I wondered why I could be alone, in my hometown, and yet my family was spread all over the country. I thought of them in Brooklyn, D.C., Miami, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale, and Chicago, then down to Portland, San Francisco, and San Diego. I even thought of the few remaining here in Seattle, on wondered if they, right then, were seeing the same thing I was. As much as I wanted just one of them to share in the spectacle, to witness the silence and translucent pale of the city in the middle of the night, I guess I knew that it was always all of us alone that made us--it was our independance that brought us together.
In the morning, the snow was all but gone.

I guess now is the time when I should explain that Clara, besides the mushroom incedent, was very influential to us in the brevity of our aquaintance. She once related us what she thought to be the import of our friendships with each other, all of us together.

"Really, you guys, all of us--all of this seems important. You know what I mean? It's like people should know what we know now. Somebody should write this all down, except, in the end, one of us should die; don't you think? To, like, make the story better."

I have always been the scribe of my circle of friends and family, taken it upon myself to document me and us and all of it honestly and accurately. I readily accepted the title that Clara proposed granting to one of us.

Maybe it should be now that I should explain that Clara never died at all, but rather took on that role in our histories as per her wish. I guess it was just as she chose to die, it was I that chose to write it down. We together through death and longing and love and lonliness and documentation--we together make our family real.

[i love you all and will miss dearly those who I am leaving here in seattle. come see me at my final farewell--all are invited. monday, march 28, the duck island alehouse on aurora + winona at 8:00 pm. i'll see you there. --M]


No. Me.

This site is great. This is a terrible thing to do to your friends, I know, but I couldn't resist. Check it out.

Don't worry, I won't hold the results against you.


"We always have that souvenier"

99 dreams I have had.
In every one a red balloon.
It's all over and I'm standing pretty.
In this dust that was a city.
If I could find a souvenier.
Just to prove the world was here.
And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go.


On Prophets and Portlanders

As my impeding departure definitely makes me think of my friends and family, I'm of course drawn to revisit the idea of invented history. My family and I do this all the time--imagine that our time together has been without fault, break, or fight; that everything that came before our meeting is inconsequential. We rewrite our history as we write our history together. Does this make sense yet?
Here's an example. Ed Wilhelme is one of my best friends--he rides that top tier group of people that will end up with the surname 'best friend' in casual conversation without explaining that I have many best friends(i.e. "My best friend Eddie lives in San Diego." or "I'm moving there because my best friend lives there."). One time, Ed went to Europe for six months. I was living in Miami, and somehow let my hotmail account lapse for not having checked it for over a month. Instantly, he was gone. Save a vauge memory of how I might get to his Dad's house in Federal Way, I had no idea how to contact him. Months later, Peter Counts ran into his now fiancee at a coffee shop in Bellingham, just days before I'd be leaving for London. Poof. Just like that, we were normal again. Like it never happened.
This part is never included in the version of our history that we tell, it usually gets carefully ommitted as to not ruin the continuity of the story.

"So we went to high school together, and I used to have this GIGANTIC crush on him our freshman year. Anyway, so we went on this trip in the San Juans where he had this tent called 'The Orgy Tent', and then we smoked pot for two years straight. Then he went to Decatur and skipped a grade, but we actually ended up leaving highschool the same year because I called this one teacher a ho. Then he saw Tu Pac in Vancouver after he supposedly 'died' and got deported from Canada. I moved to Portland and had a mental breakdown about staying in one place for too long, so I went to Europe and when I got back to Seattle he lived ten minutes away from me with some guy I never met 'cause he always hid in his room, and we drank alot of beer there and talked about Mr. Plow and Transformers. We grew up together and love each other, so yeah, that's how I know Eddie."

I have one of these for Sam, Meir, Rob, Ashley, Kyle, and both the Peters too, omitting all the really important occurances and painting a more or less informitive but definitlely prettied up picture of how we became so close. Sam and I's is probably the weirdest, involving ex-boyfriends, weddings, cats, hatred, distance, lies and subterfuge--and that's the version with the ommissions.
In a year and a half we will cross the same line that I did with Peter Smith and Eddie last September--Ten Years. I will have known her for a decade, although in actuality, we've spent most of that time fighting or resenting each other from afar. Sam and I have been slowly realizing the immenence of my departure, and of course I've contemplated reinventing us into this perfect symbiotic team that's been going strong since we were 16, but of course it hasn't always been that way.
I'm not the only one who feels compelled to reinvent history--I'm not the first to try, although unlike me, thier invented histories are marked with the moniker of fiction. Recently, via an article written on the release of a new album, and me reading another novel written by my personal prophet, the methods proposed by Colin Meloy and Paul Beatty to rewrite history and so change the present seem more than appealing to me.
Many of you know of my unwavering loyalty to my personal spritual text, The White Boy Shuffle, in which a young man finds his own god in his best friend through jazz, basketball and poetry, and ends up a nine-fingered messiah, ready to die(don't get me started on the one ring debate again...). I've read it close to twenty times and yet until today have never saw fit to read anything else by the same author.

From "Tuff", by Paul Beatty:
"Imagine Jordan, Ms. Tellos, Mr. Cienfuegos, or Ms. Cox goin' to the hospital with you to watch your uncle die of AIDS, posting your bail, writing you letters while you upstate, sending commissary money, defending you on the street. Shit I've done for and with many sons, daughters and grandchildren of many folks that's up in here tonight. I don't need to mention no names. You don't think it's true? Ask the person next to you. If you about supporting the youth, vote for me this Tuesday."

In Beatty's world, this is what a young overweight undereducated black man says in a debate and almost wins a spot on New York City council. It's just what happened, just the truth, and for once in the rewritten history of our political system, the truth is powerful.
I used to hang out with a writer named Saab Lofton. Although he was several years my senior (I met him when I was 18--he was 28) we convened on a few topics that made our friendship valid.
1) Vigilanty, third party, and individual efforts to attempt to change the social structure in our country do not go unnoticed. We had a dream of one day electing a candidate solely with truthful information and a copy machine. He wrote extensively about it in a book called "Battle Neverending", of which I have one of the only copies left in existence. You can borrow it if you like. His other book, A.D., can be purchased from Amazon.
2)Re-writing our histories and speculating on our futures is not done purely to live in a fantasy of our own making. Ideally, it challenges idea, changes outcomes, sets goals that we may not otherwise have.
3)Every writer deserves only the stickiest of the icky--no shake or schwag need apply.

Now whether it be Lofton or Beatty, many of us can understand crafting a fictional cautionary tale that reads as truth to inspire change. I more than understand, but want to try, and want it to work--elect an ideal candidate or keep my family stable. Whatever.

Everyday nerd and avid reinventor of independant music, Colin Meloy, is the lead singer/songwriter of a Portland based art-rock (???) band called The Decemberists. Now, I have loved them for some time and am not ashamed to admit that a four page spread dedicated to thier unique brand of genius that graced the pages of this weeks Stranger (for the full article, visit THE FABULIST SOUNDS OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST)almost made me shed a tear. Fron Sean Nelsons article and interveiw with Meloy:

"Throughout the afternoon's genial conversation--about the upcoming election, the Music for Change tour, the Metallica documentary, Metallica in general--I could hear snippets of the songs: pounding, shuffling, epic rhythms alongside quiet intimacies; curious phrases like "from all atop the parapets blow multitudes of coronets/melodies rhapsodical and fair," and "veranda" being rhymed with "my sweet untouched Miranda"; snatches of vaudeville, of gypsy jazz, of Fairport Convention-style British folk and so on. Nothing new to a Decemberists fan. It was clear that this unorthodox recording process was going to yield an unorthodox album--again, nothing new for the Decemberists."

Now mention of my first name aside, The Decemberists have never been afraid to paint perfect fictional images of what our histories could or may have been. They speak of war heroes, widows and seasons past not only as if it were all true, but worth remembering, and all of it documented in (soon to be) four albums whose liner notes read like the footnotes of a history text or a long lost weathered scroll. In one song about what we can gather from the remains of Pompeii, "Cocoon", from the album Castaways and Cutouts:

"The sorry conclusion, the hole in the sky, command what is tried what is true. But without solution, with feet on the ground, it won't make a sound 'til you're through. So loosen your shoulderblades. This is your hour to make do. Because there on the timberline deep cold November shines through, soft and absolute. This Quiet serves only to hide you, provide you, what I knew: it'd come back to you."

When we retell events to our own purposes, we can invent our own ideal outcomes, and in so doing set the bar of our own ideals; set goals we intend on reaching. We can all, in our own way, take the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and turn it into a call to action: THIS IS OUR HOUR TO MAKE DO.
Save the month and a half disparity in our birthdays, Samantha and I have been inseperable since birth. We spent our childhoods wondering what it was about everyone else in this world that made us so different, and came into our adolecent years armed with our own ideas and morals backed by our love for each other and our inseperability. Through all of our trials as individuals, us together has been the one constant, the one thing that is there with every airplane, wedding, breakup, sunrise, smile and tear, and for this we are grateful. We are grateful for having the opportunity to reach adulthood together and do it our own way, to make a path that forks from the rest of the world and to walk it together. So yeah, that's how I know Sam. And what will we do now you ask? Well, since we've had this perfect-verging-on-birthright friensdship forever, we'll be fine when I leave for California. I'll be jeanskirt and sunglasses clad, fumbling to fit my key in the gate of my Lower Haight apartment, and scream some expletive when my phone rings. Of course my frustration will be broken with a smile when I see it's her calling, her familiar phone number flashing on the blue screen of my cell phone. I'll sit on the stoop smoking while she tells me her flight information, so that I can pick her up from the airport in a couple of days. Peter Counts will come sit beside me as our conversation comes to a close. He'll ask me how work was. Perfect, I'll say, just perfect. Then he'll ask me how Samantha's doing.
Perfect. Absolutely perfect.



Seattle is defined by its summers. They are humbling and beautifully innocent and seem neverending in thier midst. There is never a particular moment when the cold gives way to to the light and bright and renewed pace; summer there creeps up slow and somewhere under the weight of its delicious force makes one believe that this heat and landscape are always like this. Summer there makes you believe its residents are in a constant state of unbroken smiles and irregular tans lined by the constrains of t-shirts and sandals. A routine becomes epic and worthwhile in all the long of the days. Dates become hazy, days stretch into another, and sleep seems of less import as the memory of a balmy late night spent outdoors is with you as every cup of coffee is brought to your lips the following day.
To truly experience a Seattle summer is to take it for granted, ride it out, force yourself to think that everyday is your best for having lived it there--and she will reward you. She will grant to you a beauty that will bring you to tears. Then, once, you will leave your house and your breath is caught in midair, visible milky in the breeze, cars will hesitate upon ignition at thier starting lines and somehow through the rain you will realize that it's October; winter's grip waits just beyond you waiting for you to let this summer die.

That's when I always want to leave. One Seattle winter, I decided Miami was as good a place as any. Winter, I thought, could be solved by airplanes.

In Miami there is no winter, but it bears insane subtropical summers complete with floods and gale force winds. Hurricanes. Tropical depressions. The rain is such as to make my hometown look like a joke; huge quarter sized drops fall in thick and rapid succesion, lightning flashes between the clouds and bolts down between sheets of water to reach the everglades.
When it would rain in Miami, I'd don a t-shirt and a jean skirt and run out my backdoor and up Park avenue barefoot, water pooling halfway up my calves at the curb and splashing around my ankles in the middle of the street. It felt terribly crazy beautiful; violently wet, rain sheeting the palms drumming like turbines. I could ride the stacatto percussion of the weather to somewhere behind my closed eyes where distance did not exist.

That's when I always wanted to leave. One Miami summer, I decided that if even for a brief time, I would have to go back to Seattle. Distance, I thought, could be solved by airplanes.

And so there were--there were airplanes. There were airplanes that brought me closer to people I missed so dearly. There were airplanes that showed me the weight of my character. There were airplanes that solved problems, created trouble, told truths, broke down barriers and then built all those walls right back where they stood. One flight turned to three, to six, to missed connections in Dallas and early mornings at Dulles and I rode them all, silently crying and hoping that somehow I could meld these two worlds of my home and hometown.
There were so many tears and it was all these tears that spurned reservations, plans, requests, confirmation numbers, e-tickets, flight information, me high above invisible lines deliniating time zones. There was a brief moment after my Eastern takeoff, stomach suspended weightless in the cage of my flesh and bones when things seemed possible. A song struck my sentimentalities and I touched down for my Central transfer. I rode over Mountain dumbfounded and when Pacific loomed over the pass seemingly a million miles below, flat but bowed as a marble, I cried and rode in patterns of flight I'd owned before. I knew and anticipated every dip and turn like the last few bars of my favorite song. I rode high above it all, circling north and finally plunging south through the emerald bowl of my hometown. In those moments before my final descent, I began to understand the weight of my arrival.

Obligations, as they will, have no solution but continued effort.

Of all that I had planned to accomplish and all that was at stake it was ten-fold that when I finally arrived. I was not only asked for guidance but for answers. I was expected to deal out solutions like party favors as all the obligations I had fled from years ago were now to be resolved. I tried--I tried my ass off, and at the end of the day, after all of my sacrifices, most seemed unsatisfied. I could never be convincing enough for one, strong enough for another, malleable enough for another still. Summer in Seattle was coming to a close; I had put all my cards on the table, balls out, said and did things I both admire and regret and then at the end of days was curled in a heap on the linoleum stuck in a blanket of tears bracing myself for the cold.

A hurricane hit Florida that summer, and every headline and news brodcast brought my home flooding back to me and I rode each memory of home like a wave from the Atlantic crashing into a dream. I would dream of leaving everywhere I had ever known--one more time--giving up and letting go and this time make all of them come to me. All of them for me--all of thier love would be mine so I would not have to stretch so thin, wear so many faces, be everything to everybody until I had nothing left for me. I dreamt that one day, far from here or there they would ride to me and in thier tears I could be whole, in their eyes beautiful. I wanted to leave them all aloft and wavering, searching for a way to finally grant to me the credit I thought I deserved. I dreamt of a thank you, of some concrete gratitude that could put me back together and let me free to regain the composure of the girl I once was.

Dreams, as they are fated to be, are often unrequited.
Timelines however, change dreams into goals.

So here I go, one more time. I'll ride the bow of the earth seemingly flat to far away, and they and you will ride to me. You will be humble and beautifully innocent within the confines of my routine, and I will offer you the grace of acceptance when you cry for me; I will smile knowing I too was once there. In your eyes I will be beautiful and bright, my pace renewed and convictions revamped. My tears will turn to dreams and then to goals and finally to success and you will ride the long way just to see, to see me and cry for everything unsaid when I needed you to. I will ask of you all of these things, will beg of you to sacrifice for me, to shell out the effort to bridge that gap, to take my tears and cry them as your own. All of you will cry for me and ride to meet me reinvented and gone, smiling and stable, reborn in your tears. You will miss me and make me new, and I will make you do all of this, will bring the guilt with my careful smiles that will ride your tears to wherever I go, wherever I decide to go just for me, just for me this time, and this is what I will say to those I love most.

I could do all of this, bend you at my will and demand you love me like this.

I could ride you until you cried.

In Search of the Deuce-Six

this is an audio post - click to play


"You are comic?"

A Typical Night Out With the Carnie Folk--
A crayon comic strip by Crystal Wren


All Your Base Are Belong to Robot

this is an audio post - click to play

I Survived a Jewish Mother

This morning broke with a call from my mom--my mom! I hadn't talked to her in months.
"It's your Jewish mother!!" she yelled raspily, in perfect mock stereotype of her yiddish speaking counterparts, "You're the worst daughter--you never call!"
I know, I know, I don't. I'm terrible. But I'm finally visiting--that's worth something, right?
I tell everyone about my mom--my Jewish mom--but I never see it really neccesary to explain exactly how I know her, how I met her, and how technically she didn't give birth to me. I have a big blue badge on the front of my shoulder bag that bears block white letters that read "I Survived a Jewish Mother", and at least once a day I get the question: "You're Jewish?"
I always reply: "My mom is Jewish."
Then with furrowed eyebrows and the same basic knoledge of Jewish geneology that everyone has, they'll look at me confused, wondering how I could possibly not know who I've been all my life.
"Doesn't that make you Jewish?"
If I don't know them very well, I won't correct them. Yeah, I'm Jewish. You can't tell? Weird, most people can.
My mom is a writer like I pretend I am; I say this because she makes an actual living from it--a career if you will! Unlike me, she has no need to keep a day job dressing up like a french whore and photographing rich people all day. She is also the only person I know who can draw a correlation between Kafka and a Volkswagen Beetle.
Jill and I--like most people in this world--are completely obsessed with David Sedaris. Right now, I'm listening to an old episode of TAL, one of my all time favorites called A Very Special Sedaris Christmas. In the episode, there is an interlude that describes how Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol to get out of debt, to get a piece of the just burgoning christmas cash cow. 1854 was apparently not without it's commercialism. Jill, my jewish mother, once got out of a parking ticket by pleading with the police officer that it was Easter Sunday.
You see, I don't celebrate Easter, or Christmas for that matter; you see, I'm Jewish. Really? You can't tell? That's weird, most people can.

ETA on new piece--working title: Ride--a few more days. Probably Thursday or Friday. Don't cry--I'll finish soon. --M



A brief interlude--Samantha was explaining to me yesterday that saying ones name 1000 times to oneself in the mirror is supposed to make you question your own reality. My first question was "How long would that take?"



Only sex and flight lose time like this
Pop songs are curves of the same length,
outside the sight of the clock.
In this plane,
above this ocean,
my headphones swell with
bitter melodies
candied in echoplex
and fattened violins,
cooed at by low thrums
that reshape themselves
into your open mouth,
your hips slithering around me.
There is a tiny gap in my mind,
where the moan you made sat.
I only remember how it felt to hear it.
It comes back to me like a song I heard and loved,
but that dissipated, leaving
a phantom trace of notes in sequence
that probably doesn't exist. I can hear
the breath around it, though,
and as the plane jitters through turbulence,
as the melody, cupped to the side of my head
like your hands did slants
towards a lush and glorious crash
of cybals and chords, your tounge stirs
a weird magic into the mix.
Outside the window of the plane,
there is nothing,
and under that,
water and water and water.

--M. Doughty

There for you is one mans version of love, sex, and airplanes.

I'll tell you mine in a few days, at which time my girlfriends and I will all rejoice in the simple (yet somewhat audience specific) essay that builds to the final line--oh yes--I did write it down. And yes, I swear by all that is holy, it actually happened. In a few days, we will all unclip our tounges, new projects to conquer; I will write and we will read and all of us together will know new freedoms. Only sex and flight lose time like this.