Dear Dear Diary
I took my tea out to the front porch this morning. It is cool and shady at that hour of the morning and the bushes hide me from the nosy bint next door. You could see me from the street, but the gent across the way, Eugene-Of-The-Immaculate-Lawn (in a diagonal pattern this morning), can not see me from his windows. I can almost feel safe here.
I have brought a tray out, for a proper tea. A proper tea involves the whole ritual of warming the teapot while heating the water in a different container on the stove, setting up a cream pot and sugar bowl, making a few sandwiches with the crusts cut off (it's bird food and cheap entertainment), and of course a few cookies. It's so hard to get clotted cream for proper scones, so I rarely bother. I put the tea in loose in the teapot and then pour through a strainer when I want to add it to my cup. And of course, one must put in sugar first then cream, and then the tea. I don't need to dirty the spoon then, because the act of pouring does most of the mixing. I find great comfort in this.
I was enjoying my tea and lobbing crusts at the birds when a curious deep voice greeted me, "Good morning, Jeannie."
That voice was familiar.
I looked at the chair next to me, on the other side of the tea tray, and there was Tony himself, smiling at me.
I dropped my teacup, splashing the hot liquid on myself. I jumped up and had to act fast to prevent burns. Luckily the cup did not break. When I looked at the chair again, he was gone.
I had one more cup of tea and enjoyed my treats without noticing them as much. I had a lot to think about now.
I have found the perfect cigar.
I admit it. I don't like smoking. I don't like the smell. I don't like the taste. I don't like the headache or the off taste in my mouth.
But this is the perfect cigar. It stays lit all by itself. I don't even need to suck-start it. With a good wind, I can blow out through the little sucker and it stays lit all by itself, producing enough fumes to choke the old bint who lives next door. She thinks that it's Frank that goes out and sneaks a cigar when everyone is in bed. But no, I admit it, it's me. I have to do something with my insomnia on the hot summer nights when even the air conditioner leaves you drenched in sweat.
This cigar reminds me more of tobacco smudge sticks used by indians in purification rituals. My ancestors have lived on this land for so long and intermuddled that who knows what tribes may pulse through my veins. I feel like chanting and waving feathers, but I do not wish to do something wrong- I might invite something else I don't understand or wish to deal with, and I have enough problems with my own religion. But still, there is something of a holy spark in the fire I hold between my fingertips, and I can wish for better things on the smoke that blows on up to heaven. We use incense too in my church.
The cigar does not stub out like cigarettes do. It disintegrates completely if I hold it too tightly, and it cracks when I bang it on the ashtray. There is nothing left to burn, so I breath the cleansed night air deeply, then go back inside.
I will have dreams now, I know. And I welcome them home.
I have come to the disquieting realizations about myself.
I will never climb Mt. Everest or set foot on Antartica. I will never backpack through Greenland or try to walk across Europe depending on the kindness of strangers. I doubt I will ever go to India, Siam, or Tibet. I am not likely to ever stand at the Oracle of Delphi in the moonlight.
I will never design my own clothing line and model it myself on a runway in Milan, Paris, or New York.
I will never run a multi-million dollar corporation or try to sell out said corporation.
I will never a famous actress or be hounded by the paparazzi. When I am gone, they will not be splashing my name on headlines over the world.
Sometimes, you just have to face things as realistically gone. But that does not mean the dreams have died. Impossible exists always in dreams. But do not do what I have done- I have squandered my possible. Seize your truest dream and chase it with all your heart. It will happen if you make it so.
So, I will make it so.
I met him in a popcorn sky.
No mere wanderer,
he and I had met before
will meet again.
Yet the popcorn filled the bowl-
spilled and poured-
until we meet again.
Until we meet again.
I had been playing one of Tony's tapes when I heard that lyric. It wasnt on the lyric sheets, and it was not listed as one of the tracks on the album either. But that was clearly his voice speaking, yet it was written from a different perspective. I wasn't sure what to make of it, or if I should. It unsettled me all the same. I thought of little else for the rest of the day. Maybe if I write it here it won't matter any more and I can forget it.
Yet I did not make popcorn for Frank's usual television viewing. I went out on the back porch with a cigarette and pretended to smoke, while I watched the stars play peek-a-boo in the clouds.
I have to wonder if Tony is looking at such a sky this evening, if the unsettled weather ruffles the edges of his soul as it touches mine. On an evening such as this, I can feel a very strong connection to the impossible. It can be real if I want it enough. Do I?
I light the cigarette only so I can stub it out. We shall see.
Nobody ever goes in. And nobody ever comes out.
I've just been to see the new Willy Wonka. Of course, they gave it the proper name of the film, but I didn't go to see it for the little boy, nor to see the wonders of the Chocolate Factory. Although it was delightful, it was not Mr. Wonka, and that is what I went to see.
Odd, isn't it, how Hollywood can have wonderful rolls for mildly mad men, but there are no similar rolls for women possibly slightly round the bend? Angie would have been great if it were so. She had all sorts of extraordinary vices and little quirks that would suit such a mood. Perhaps that is why I found her so charming.
I went while Frank was at work, of course. It is not the sort of thing of which he would approve. Piffle. I'd like him better if he learned to laugh a little more. Fortunately, there were not many of the younger set in the theater- but this film was not as frightening as I found the older version with Gene Wilder. And yet, I fell in love with Gene Wilder. I still sometimes have odd dreams... but I digress.
The unusual twist and annoying moral revolved around Mr. Wonka's inability to say "Parents." Funny, I can manage that word all right. I have parents and I can understand Mr. Wonka's dread of them. It's just that nasty C-word with which I have difficulty.
I think I will pretend I mean cake. I think I will bake a double chocolate fudge with raspberry filling. Lovingly frosted with glucose. :)
I step onto the balcony, and walk to the railing. I close my eyes and inhale deeply. I can hear faintly the fountains below and I can smell a hint of their moisture in the air. I can hear the faint rumble of traffic too, but I try not to. This is a perfect moment, and reality is not allowed to intrude. The air does not carry the faintly rank smell of rotting fish of Atlantic City nor the underlying tone of stale urine of New York, London or Chicago. It is not the salt water tinged with smog of LA, like I remember on that other balcony on the wildest weekend of my youth. No, in this cool night air, there is a hint of mountains and desert and flowers nearby.
I smile when I hear the footsteps approach. I know who it is. I slowly turn and look into your eyes. You are smiling too, and it softens your face into charming. I hold out my hand to yours, you take it, and don't ever let me go.
The act of cooking is a balm to the soul.
It is a great comfort to me that if I add x to y in the proper format, I will always get Z. And if I di it in a different way, I can q, which may or may not be a good thing. But my point is that I control what I am making. I am the master of what will be in my kitchen, and as long as I do what I want to do, I will get my expected result.
Perhaps I like the control. Perhaps I like the creativity and the chance to truly express myself.
I think it's because there are no watchers in my kitchen and no one telling me I am doing it wrong. No one better criticize me in my own kitchen. I know where the knives are.
Today is a day where nothing is going right. My modem is lying to me. All of the blinkies say it's on the internet, yet I am unable to go anywhere most of the day, or get to my newsgroups or check my email. I spilled a bottle of butterscotch cordial, and frankly, I think that ought to be a sin. Butterscotch is yummy and to hell with the calories.
Take one bag of generic candies. Unwrap all the little fardling things. Take the tiny saucepan out and put in 1/2 cup of spring water. Simmer the water. Keep on medium heat. Add the candies one at a time until melted. Let cool. Add 1/2 cup vodka. Pour carefully into a Mason jar and seal. Pretty color. Awesome flavor.
I have to try the recipe with Red Hots too, but they only sell them near VD day, which is not my favorite holiday and it is no where near today. Thank goodness. Like I need that sort of depression right now. Today is bad enough. Besides, Red Hots would be red, and I have enough red cordials. Why aren't more things actually green or blue?
Today I am better off not baking. I am locking myself in the small room, and making Frank order something for dinner. I will listen to Tony, if I dare risk playing a tape in the radio. I have three open lime-scented deodorant bars in this room. If I close my eyes, I can feel his breath on my cheek as he sings to me.
Of course, with my luck today, he had garlic for lunch. Hmph.
Ogasms are like fireworks. None are ever completely the same, although some times the feelings are similar, comfortable, and sparkly. And every now and then, something new and beautiful is seen and felt, and the world just seems a lighter, brighter place with a bang.
We watch the fireworks from the porch, Frank and I, sitting perhaps too far apart. I have Tony on the radio, and he has a beer to which he is paying more attention than the shiny things above. It is a still and peaceful night, but you can hear the rumbles from the park in the distance. I am thinking how easy it would be to shoot someone on the fourth of July- no one would ever hear the sounds amidst the fireworks. Even some neighbors a street or three over are shooting rockets, so I am enjoying a layered effect of shine. I like watching on the porch, instead of crammed in the park and jostled and dogs and police searching for booze and drugs. It's just me and Frank and Tony and the pretty sparkly things.
I fetch him another beer, and wonder where I can fetch a gun. I used to shoot, years ago. Hold your breath and lean into the cool steel barrel, line up the sights and sqeeze. I just never wanted to shoot anything that moved.
I like the fireworks. I like the ones that branch and shoot off echoes of the first explosion, like ripples intersecting ripples in a pond when I skip a rock across. Fireworks are pretty.
I see everything, and I see nothing at all.
The unrwritten rules of men say you should never date your friend's ex. But women do not know or they just don't acknowledge this rule. The woman is only thinking predatory thoughts, and not worrying about the size of her pond. Nor is she like to swim elsewhere. So there you are, circling around the same faces every day, with the smiles painted on and a kind word for everyone, but circling just the same. Who to cut, who to cull, it doesn't really matter. Change the pond, and you've changed the world.
I am grateful I am not circling. I'd rather watch the laundry spin than watch that circling dance. And yet, and yet... I long to dance.