Between the celebratory cooking of pork and oyster mushrooms and the negotiation of a strap-on harness with a leg brace, I wonder what I can tell you that will be interesting. Truthfully, there’s more bandages and ice than strap-on, and internet effluvia makes both my jobs seem like picking pins out of hay/fleas off my dog/crumbs out of the carpet in our new, many-staired apartment one by one by one. Make a story, make an image, throw it in the pile and hope it swims.
In July, there’s the wedding at which one cow’s moan/moo underpins the vows of a multinational pair of actors and I stumble across the hay floor in my yellow dress, late, after catching a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge with a trumpet player. Later, I’ll be nearly sick with zinfandel and salty chocolate and the bride’s brother will make a beautiful speech, flown from Cairo, his backdrop a galaxy of lights/sun between boards of the barn wall. I’ll pet pigs, their ears like sharkskin. In the dark, my man – his knee yet to be incapacitated – will carry me over potholed dirt, past the goats who jump straight up in the air over and over for no discernible reason.
In July there’s the federal obscenity trial during which I mostly pace the floor of a hotel room in D.C. waiting to be called/iron my court clothes/meet lawyers in the lobby during rainstorms/walk up the road to the Smithsonian Zoological Park where Tian Tian the giant panda sits in a pile of bamboo, eating it by the handful.
The week after the trial, back in San Francisco, my two baby sisters offer a totally different perspective. I take them to the aquarium where sharks swim over our heads. I take them to the Academy of Sciences where we walk through a rainforest and watch the universe begin. I take them back to my apartment where we throw pizza dough in the air and improvise dances and make things out of colored paper, scissors, markers, glue.
In New York, there is record-breaking heat. In San Francisco it’s the coldest summer in forty years. I shiver so badly, waiting behind the curtain on Saturday night in my pink ruched “dress” on the Mermaid’s Cruise, I’m afraid that my teeth will chatter during my first dance. But the bachelor is surly and unobservant, and the best man gets so wasted he stops speaking, his jaw locked and eyes an unfocused, watery blue. Over their shoulders, the black bay rolls past the boat window. The skyline shifts and smears light with each swell. Home finally, seasick and wrapped in sweatshirts, I drop fistfuls of ones onto the couch, shower, and walk the pup up Folsom Street, my make-up an unscrubbable smear of greys. The two-a.m. condensation is somewhere between fog and rain, fat and wet. Two men in tight cotton t-shirts grip each other on the corner, squeal at Whisky Wilson’s leash-tugging curiosity. A blond in cowboy boots bends to scratch my little dog’s ears without acknowledging me. She whispers, her voice thick and boozy: “Hello little one. Hello.”