Archive for July, 2005

Night Swimming

It’s one am, and I am FURIOUS with Bartender Dude. I’m hopped up on cold medicine, waiting for him to call, blowing my nose every thirty seconds. He went out about 5 pm with a bunch of his boyz, one of whom was in town for only a few days. When we were making plans for the day, this was one of the options that came up, and I asked him if he wanted to just have a boys night out. As usual, the answer was to “play it by ear.” So as he left he kissed me tenderly and told me he’d call in a few hours so I could join them where they were.

That was eight hours ago.

He HAS sent me some text messages, but they’re vague and noncommittal, saying he’ll be in touch later. I feel neglected. I feel annoyed. I rehearse in my head how this is one of the differences between us that creates rubs sometimes — I like definite plans, he loves to go with the flow. I’m tired of thinking, so I pour myself a gin and tonic, grab my pack of fags, and head downstairs to sit outside my building.

It is cooler now than earlier in the day. DC is hotter than the pit of hades at the moment. I sit next to the rosebush, light a fag, and sip, sip, sip on the gin. I watch groups of bright young things walk by, big groups, small groups. Three girls and two boys. Four boys. A couple hand in hand. The powderey smell of dryer discharge wafts over from the next building. Two men walk by from different directions. They are pacing, gesticulating and jabbing in the air, talking to themselves. Then I see each has an earpiece and a cellphone.

I am starting to get woozy from the combination of half a gin and tonic and the cold medicine. I berate myself. Why am I so furious with Bartender Dude? I WANT him to have boys night out. I WANT him to have a good time. I have a stinking cold for God’s sake! Why do I always feel as if I am waiting for him to call? Why DO I wait for him to call? What is WRONG with me?

I continue to feel woozy and woozier. What is the big deal? All of the sudden I don’t really care anymore. I have just been cooped up too long. Haven’t been outside all day until now. I discard my butts in the nearest trashcan and head upstairs. Three missed calls. Bartender Dude is trying to reach me.

“Come swimming,” he says, when I ring him back. They are at a friend’s house in Georgetown with a pool and a well stocked bar. On my way over, in a cab, it begins to rain. Pit, pat, pit-pit-pit, CRASH. Thunder. Lighting! I tiptoe though the dark house to the pool out back, strip off my jeans, and walk slowly into the water in my tank top and undies. Bartender Dude’s wet arms encircle me and his eyes belie how happy he is that I am there. Wet kisses. Other people’s laughter. The rain falling on our upturned faces. Smoking soggy cigarettes.

Life is complicated but so, so beautiful.


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What a relief! All my London mates are safe and well. In fact, most of them weren’t even in the city when the terrors took place. Thank God.

Now that those more serious matters have been cleared up, I can turn to another weighty subject in which I am sure you will all be absorbed and during the contemplation of which I am sure you will all nod sagely.

Which is this:

Me and belts, we don’t like each other.

See? I knew this would interest you.

Here’s the deal. I have a relatively small little waist. You would think this would be a GREAT thing to have. You would think that having a small waist would lead to many compliments and the purchasing of many cute outfits. And you would be right. Unless of course, God saw fit to provide that small waist with the matching accessory of a Really Big Ass. And unless of course if God then decided it would be a complete HOOT to bless all the clothing designers in the world with a Small Assed View of how cute outfits should be cut and sewn.

It is hard enough for me to find anything small enough to fit my waist but big enough to fit over my hips without making me look like an overburdened sausage casing that is gaping open at one end. But trying to wear a belt with any kind of trousers or skirt is completely impossible. I’m serious. You can look it up in the Big Book of Impossible Things. (Incidentally, my father is also in there, under the “Asking for Directions” entry.)

When I try to wear a belt, the damn thing either scoots up to the limits of my ribcage, forming a kind of rippled ribbon candy effect due to the periodic constraints of belt loops, or it bunches into a chafing, uncomfortable pie crust around the delicate skin of my stomach and lower back. (Hey, I don’t exfoliate like a fiend for nothing people.) I once bought the coolest pony hair belt from Bloomingdales that was NOT CHEAP and took it home triumphantly, dying for the right opportunity to wear it. By the second wearing I was removing it halfway through the evening and stuffing it into my bag and rubbing lotion into the red marks on my torso. Or what about the tres chic ribbon belt made of beautifully embroidered Indian fabric I bought to wear with jeans? That thing is so scrunched and wrinkled that the gold threads are frayed and broken beyond repair.

I am not even kidding here people, and this is clearly a matter of National Importance. Any trousers I buy have to be slung low across my hips in order to avoid serious gappage around my small waist. And then they have to be hemmed because I’m really not supposed to wear them that low and the ends drag on the ground and my belly button shows. I could hike them up and try to cinch in the gappage with a belt. But alas then the belt buckles and the trousers pucker around my Really Big Ass making it look Even Bigger.

Yeah. Baby Got Back. Baby got Back swooping like a pendulum underneath a long, thin torso. And until our everyday clothing designers suddenly get a collective brainwave along the lines of “Hey. That Dior guy was ON to something!”, she can’t wear belts either.

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Your American cousins over here are sorrowed and ANGERED by yesterday’s attacks.  But we know this brutality will only serve to bring out the best of all your traits.  YOU WILL NOT BE COWED.  They can go fuck themselves, thank you very much.

The Commandant is okay.  SIMON PLEASE EMAIL ME.  All other friends but one are accounted for.  Please, Jule, please do not have been on your way to work in the City yesterday at 9 am.

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So tonight, during my Secret Book Club with the Witch, which I have every week, I suddenly had this idea that J.R.R.Tolkien and Michel Foucault should have a conversation. On paper, of course, since both have long since left this world. But how cool would that be? One, the foe of language, and one the lover of language.

I never realised before, how diametrically opposed those two figures are. Imagine, if they dueled. Imagine, if they duked it out about the role of language in creating reality, Foucault saying that language creates discourse, which creates the realm of possibility, and Tolkien saying that language is coeval with reality, and cannot be separated from it. There is no way they would agree. What a conversation that would be.

In the end, someone would have to write it for them.

Seriously, people, how would that go?

I’m a little drunk, if you haven’t figured that out already.

But not too drunk to know that these two literary giants are in fact the diametric opposites of each other. For one, language participates in a creation of a superficial, and therefore political, power structure. For the other, language participates in the very experience of being, and therefore an ontological re-comittment of is-ness.

I must go to bed.

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