Continued from 6/1
The more time I spend behind this woman and her curiously-placed
mole as we stroll along Broadway, the more I'm convinced its placement is the
least of its puzzling attributes.
There's also the question of its shape.
Because we're both in motion and my eyes must also occasionally look elsewhere
order to avoid the risk of collision with with other pedestrians, I cannot focus
only on the back of her leg. Still, what
is it? Kidney bean? The state of New York? A basket of kittens?
At long last we both stop at the corner.
Continued from 6/2
Knowing I have seconds to act, I drop the lace-edged hanky I
always have on hand as a prop. While retrieving
it, I blush internally, realizing I've no doubt spent more energy on this mole
than its owner has in her lifetime. (Even
a particularly enamored lover would not have been as transfixed.) It's now a mere foot from my face.
"If you can read this, you're much too close!" the
mole says in a small, amused voice in an accent I can't quite place. At least I've identify its shape, though, as
a pair of lips!
Continued from 6/4
"Donna," I say to the upside-down magazine, "as
your therapist, I must be honest with you.
I'm sorry if the truth is painful.
But you weren't looking too -- how do I put this -- sane? -- with those tiny
faces drawn over your blemishes with a marker."
"Those weren't just faces," she says. "They were Jeanette and Bruce. Wendy and Penelope. Alan. I
grew to love them. And then they had to
go and abandon me? Don't they know I
have what you people call 'abandonment issues'?"
This, dear Donna, is the least of your problems.
You'd think that after living with me for nine years and
working as my assistant for three, Shana would have a handle on the sort of
behavior I tolerate and the sort I find wholly objectionable. Where in the realm of our joint experience
did she get the idea that presenting me with a dead bird would be met with
something other than shrieks, laments, and pleas to "take it back"
imbued with drama on a Joan Crawford scale?
And merely carried in her mouth and plopped at my feet with not even so
much as a bow? Really, now.
In the dreams, my mustache is incidental. No mention is made whatsoever of its quiet existence
or its many impressive characteristics (full, lush, well-maintained, rich shade
of espresso with not a hint of gray).
No, I'm just a hapless girl going about my business, making my way
through streets of a city whose familiarity I have overestimated enough so that
a simple walk turns into a labyrinthine exercise in Finding A Way Out or witnessing
teary-eyed, flayed horses' raw and shiny fleshlessness being beaten with thick sticks
by degenerate toothless policemen deep in the fiery woods of a hidden hell-forest.
It is with great sadness and shame that I inform you that
this morning I broke your mother's back, Sir.
And several backs of other mothers, all of whom many of whom I would
gladly visit in the hospital to apologize for the back-breaking while they're unable
to spring from their beds to strangle me for landing them there.
At first, while skipping along the sidewalk, I did attempt to
not step on any cracks, but the length of my stride and the placement of the
cracks were not conducive to avoidance.
I regret your spinal health was thus spared.
People who adore dogs but not cats will spout vehemently
about their preference. Likewise, those who love cats but not dogs will sniff disdainfully
about theirs. Meanwhile, when left alone
at home during the workday, the dogs and cats splay on their backs across a
variety of divans and settees, princess phones tucked against their pointed or
floppy ears, chatting with each other not only about the ridiculous rivalry of
their people, but also spilling their secrets ("Madame Fancy often doesn't
use soap when she bathes!") ("Mr. Gourmet Host has been known to
taste my food straight from the can!").
I know that
in saying even cockroaches deserve respect, I will be ridiculed with eyebrow-raised
smirks, lumped into the same category as the PETA people, who were not too
thrilled with the President for his recent on-air capture and insouciant murder
of a fly. I hesitate to say "even
cockroaches", as this implies these creatures are not inherently worthy of
respect, a stance I do not uphold, especially when we consider their physical
sturdiness and the boldness with which they hold court when entering a room
where they surely know they are not welcome.
As is my custom, I must take a moment to announce my plea
for you to disregard any typos or other errors (excluding factual, because
everything here has been researched within an inch of its motherlovin' life)
that you may have noticed while perusing my words this month. Although I would like to shove the blame on
Shana, my assistant, this is not fair given that typing without the benefit of
thumbs is a challenge I know I would not be able to face without considerable
grumbling and resentment. Yet she perseveres
in admirable silence, especially remarkable for a cat.
Thank you, patchouli-drenched cretin, for forcing me to
cut my stationary bike ride to 42 minutes instead of the 60+ minutes I'd
planned. Luckily the good people on the treadmills on another floor hadn't
doused themselves in that repellent skunky garbage as well.
If I wanted to chew patchouli -- because, really, that
crap's so thick it can't be merely contained to offending the olfactory sense
-- I'd go downstairs to a yoga class and suck on someone's the bare, dirty toes.
Can we please return it to the 1969 time capsule where it
belongs, never to be unearthed again?