Monthly Archives: March 2011

Feats of Fancy

Because I’m missing him, I remember this: our feet made out before we did.

The first time we slept together we did not “sleep” together, we merely slept beside one another. We were friends then. We’d come back from a night out dancing and it was four in the morning before we reached my apartment. It would be another twenty minutes for him to drive home to his. I told him he could stay, and I oh-so-cavalierly quipped, “You can sleep on the couch or sleep in my bed, whichever.” He chose my bed, and was a perfect gentlemen.

And it went on like that for over a month. Weekend sleepovers at my place, graduating to weeknights, sleeping next to each other, without a single improper pass. I used to giggle some mornings when he woke complaining of his sore neck and his stiff back, because it was a small double bed and he is a tall, robust man – and to keep from touching me meant he had to keep his body absolutely ramrod rigid, ALL night. Yet he came back for more uncomfortable nights of sleep with me and he complained little. SUCH a gentleman.

I liked him (like, “like-liked” him), but I didn’t want to and refused to admit it to myself. His personal life was a mess: he was only just extracting himself from a marriage gone sour and he was supposed to be leaving the state soon. Every sensible aspect of me screamed not to like him – like that. Regardless, I introduced the cuddling.

Again, in the aftermath of another Seattle night out we headed to my bed in the wee hours, ready to assume our Catholic school dance measurement of distance in the bed, when I (was tipsy enough that I) grabbed his arm and pulled it over top of me. I remember he said, “Oh! Is this cool now?” And I said, “Yes”, when I wanted to say, “Shut up!” And after that small gesture the cuddling was ON!

It was a mega cuddlefest of snuggly proportions for about two to three weeks. How close could we smoosh our bodies together without being overtly sexual? How much of a joint human burrito could we nightly create while acting like this was the behavior of the purely platonic? How close could our lips be to one another’s, for eight long, oft-times sleepless hours, without ever touching? We tested all these limits. We pushed the boundaries of friendly affections. We blazed some serious snuggle-time trails!

But our feet were the main culprits. Our feet were at each other in ways we were not yet brave enough to be. Our feet mingled, moved, maneuvered and motioned amongst themselves, constantly. Our feet flirted, our feet fell in like, our feet fell in love, and our feet told the truth about our feelings LONG before we ever did.

And the lovely thing about that is, they still do. While in marriage we’ve maintained the same sides of the bed as we did in those early days, I can no longer cuddle him face to face, for any extended period of time, for all the goddammed breathing he does (did he not breathe back then?). And while we can only snuggle down for a good half hour of drowsiness before we settle into our more comfy, separate, sleepytime reposes, our feet are still at each other. Like it was their first night together. Like they’d just met and were completely smitten.

And we laugh about that. We have no doubt that they’ll retain their footsie-friskiness, and enduring mutual adoration, well into the their sunset years.
We suppose we’ll be dragged along with them, but we don’t mind.

That Darling Dame, Dorothy

While in Tucson last weekend we took the opportunity to pay our respects to an all but dead Borders. As expected, the place had been ransacked – going from trendy, over-priced retail scene to shabby discount bookstore (not even the quirky-fun kind) in a matter of weeks. And as the employees chugged along in their duties, looking more than a little depressed, the overhead speakers played Daft Punk’s “Around the World” as if harkening back to a time when business (everywhere) was booming.

In the rumble I found a copy of “Dorthy Parker: Complete Poems”. What works of hers I’d owned before had vanished in the last decade, and I’d been meaning to replenish my Parker supply. Especially since, every few years, I reread her verse and find it strikes me in new and meaningful ways.

Example:

In youth, it was a way I had
To do my best to please,
And change, with every passing lad,
To suit his theories.

But now I know the things I know,
And do the things I do;
And if you do not like me so,
To hell, my love, with you!

Dorothy Parker, “Indian Summer”

*Sigh*
Makes me want to time travel back one hundred years just to be her bestest friend.

In the “Complete Poems” introduction I learned Mz. P had gone rounds with suicidal thought. I knew she’d made whimsy of the topic, but if I’d ever read of her deeper struggles I can’t recall. When you think female-poet-suicide, you think Plath.

It was comforting to know a successful, decidedly sane lady fought some dark demons and won. It’s more so refreshing that she made light of it. I feel relieved that, while reading her words at least, I don’t have to kowtow to the pressure to be an enlightened, happy, well-adjusted, upbeat woman – exuding nothing but positive energy and singing choruses of kumbaya all the stinking time. When I’m with Dorothy it’s perfectly acceptable to stick my tongue out at the world and joyously give it both middle fingers.

What’s even better, I feel like less of a “bad person” for doing so and more of an honest one. And then – would you look at that – I’m happy after all.

Bananas

While ringing up my multitude of groceries, my checker looked stressed over the 75 year old bagger who was taking his arthritic time packing up my goods. I decided to make light of my weighty purchase with small talk, and I said, “And to think, all this will be gone in two weeks.”

My checker, whose face remained stern, replied, “Yeah. Kids. I think our lives are going to come to a drastic halt if things keeps going the way they’re going.”

Um……what?

She was in her mid 50s, long 70s hair, pretty, with kind yet sad eyes, and wearing a crystal around her neck – all of which only made her statement more confusing. Was she prophesying some 2012 shit? Was she commenting on American consumerism in general? Was she baked? Was she NOT baked and therefore woke up on the doomy-gloomy side of the bed that day?

“I think our lives are going to come to a drastic halt if things keeps going the way they’re going.”
Are we still talking about my groceries? And if not, shouldn’t we? Because WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT?!

What do you say? Me, I said nothing. I tried constructing some polite, chit-chatty responses in my head, but couldn’t get past, “What do you mean?” or “Um…..I suppose?” or “Thank you for being the umpteenth crazy person to walk into my life and fuel a blog story. God Bless, and may the aliens rescue you soon.”

Of course, she may have a point – assuming she was speaking towards the state of world affairs. But is dropping some Nostradamus on me while I’m buying eight tons of paper towels and genetically engineered bananas really the best time?

Maybe.