Archives for posts with tag: measuring devices

Lorca as translated by Carlos Bauer.  Lord how I wish I spoke Spanish.

It’s gotten colder and my dog wants to always stick his nose in my armpit while I write.  Why does he do this? I wish he’d open his mouth just once to talk to me in words.

I plan things and plan things.  Appointments for blood tests and x-rays and dinners with poets.  Flights to cities with airport codes I’ve memorized.  Reading assignments for the students I’ve yet to meet.  My library card gets so much action.

Wednesday I wade through the Market Street river of orange-shirted bodies, armed with my pink totebag stack of Baldwin and Dickenson, Notley, Bersenbrugge, and Wright – both James and C.D.  It’s a weirdly hot day for November and the people are walking on broken cups and crushed brown-bagged cans of Sparks.  In front of the Blick off Sixth, a teenager – so skinny like a clapper in the bell of his wind-filled t-shirt – climbs a streetlight to either hang or tear down a black and orange flag – it isn’t clear which.  Fifty people gather to chant at him and I can’t get through without holding the books in front of me as a shield or a weapon.

On Friday I bring mudcake to the bar and carve it up with plastic spoons and cocktail napkins.  We play slaps and I bust my foot on the heavy wooden door.  Nicole laughs her way through another birthday.  The first girl who tries to sell us lighted silk roses from a heavy tray reminds me how much better it is to be writing a syllabus than to be treking up Broadway in heels. But then Saturday night comes and I’m gathering dollars from a hotel carpet. I’m riding the elevator with fur-collared tourists on their way to the Top of the Mark, knocking on the door of an 11th floor suite with Lilah beside me, and between us our bags of heels and costumes, rolled lights and wet wipes and sharpies and cans of whipped cream.

The bachelor’s single friends have brought girls up to the room.  Female guests at a bachelor party can go either way – as Lilah and I are setting up I hear one of the girls say: “how much would you pay me to strip?” And I think: really? Do you go out to dinner and barge into the kitchen to show the chefs how well you can cook?  But the girl turns out to be sweet and curious, if naive.  Lilah and I lock ourselves into the bathroom to count out and the girl is in there with us, peeing.  The girl says, “So how did you guys get started? Did you take classes?  I want to go to your class.”  And while I’m glad for the recognition that this job requires skill, I can’t help but laugh at the image of a girl in a four hundred dollar hotel suite asking the stripper where to take lessons.

In the suite’s bedroom, men who are younger than me smoke cigarettes out the window.  They’re wearing khakis and button down shirts and they still have money in their hands.  Outside, it looks like Gotham.  Like every lonely hotel movie sequence.  As we’re leaving, one of the guys, slurring over a plastic cup of vodka and ice, asks “Where do you girls go to college?”  He turns to the guy slouched next to him on the beige couch and says, “All strippers go to college.”

A pile of unpeeled fava beans and Whiskey Wilson the Pomeranian-papillon blonde make this a Wednesday in May, make this northern Californian spring.  The shrinking potion and scattered clothing and my immigrant houseplant mark my arrival, as always – you will know me by the texture of mess in your apartment.

This summer we’ll both move away from trains and I’ll worry about everything – as usual: work, money, fiction, The Right Thing To Do – and you’ll continue to be too busy to stretch or ice your hurt knee.  There is so much.  Paperwork and bean-peeling and boxes to pack and suitcases to buy and airplane rides to pay for and sleep through.  Tuition to earn.  There is the sublettor to find and there will never be an end to the unanswered e-mails and phone calls. There will never be an end to the unread books and unwritten grant applications.  And there is the bed-making and sheet-destroying, there are the songs to listen to and wine that must be drunk.  There is always, always the necessary filming and performing of pornography.  Mascara to put on and wash off.

I can’t believe we’re here: running the dog at seven forty-three a.m. in a deserted patch of Golden Gate Park with one leaky cup of coffee between us.  The crows that Whiskey Will chases through the particulate grey are bigger than he is; they swoop black-patent-shine just above his head and land in a cluster, ten feet away from his frantic, galloping body before taking off again, with absolute grace and disregard.  We’re sleepy and unwashed in elasticized clothing.  Two different meanings for the word “jumper”.  The dog eats two-thirds of a corn-cherry scone while we try to teach him to come when called, and I wish that someone would do this for me, would teach me my name.

Let me tell you how it is to be twenty-nine (minus seven).

It’s like having the stomach flu for five days straight and eating nothing but crackers and diet sprite, still hating David Foster Wallace, making phone calls from the gathered wrinkled sheet nest, not bothering to re-charge electronics, a productive day is re-polishing nails.

I am still an expert procrastinator, which is always what you read on the internet because this is where people go to procrastinate.

I owe stories all over the place, and can not bring myself to finish chapters by writers named in triplicate.

Also, twenty-nine means still forgetting to pay my rent on time.

Means still seeing my face in newly published photographs and trying to remember exactly where that was taken and exactly who was being blown.

Now that I’m twenty-nine, I’m still no good at asking for help with things like obtaining diet sprite for my ill belly, and I still want very badly to see the butterfly exhibit.

I’m thrilled to screaming by concrete slides ridden down on torn hunks of corrugated box.

I still, even now, want my mother to notice.

I want cake with buttercream and shoes with buckles.

I want your face in my hands.

I want three-flavor ice cream.

I want to learn how to do this.

If you ask me whether taking the Q to the J train on a Thursday in mid-afternoon in March shows you just exactly what New York wants from you I’ll tell you yes.

And if you ask me whether a monthly blood test leaves small bruises I will answer yes to that also.

I will tell you that the condition of having badly to piss in an airport or a nightclub or a highway diner or a school administrative building and not pissing from fear of harassment fills me with worry.

I will tell you that synthetic hormones still make my hate list even while I appreciate their uses.

I will tell you that I am comforted by both Josephine Bear and Hello Kitty and will continue, despite your belief that they harbor disease.

I will tell you : never again will I attempt to forge a relationship in a bar.

Things I have already given up include: black lipstick, the fear of eating, every color but blonde, the love of poverty, powdered milk, the fear of dancing in front of you.

Even if I do it badly.

Even if, at twenty-nine the only dance of which I’m confident is lap.

Things I will give up include: not calling, ill-fitting shoes, not bothering to look.

I will give up trying to keep the polish off my cuticles.

I will give up not telling my mother about my life when what I really want is to TALK to her.

I will give up being disappointed when she is quiet on the other end of the line with the television or her cooking sounds or the sound of nothing in the background.

I’ll send the pictures when I say I’m going to send the pictures.

What I won’t give up is: diet soda, reading in bad light, high heels, trying.

What I’ve learned is: how to be slow, lemon relish, the color of your eyes, I’m sorry, costuming, how to make a pirate sandwich.

What I want now, this year: an end to nausea, lettuce that isn’t cellophaned, your hands on me, things made waterproof – both mascara and  boots, a bright path home.

Description of Article:

1 PR BROWN BOOTS

1 PR. WHITE SOCKS

1 PR. JEANS

1 BLK. SWEATSHIRT

1 WHITE SESAME ST. SHIRT

1 PR BLUE UNDERWEAR

1 PR. CONTACT LENSES

1 RED JACKET

1 BLUE BAG W/STRAP W/PENS AND ENVELOPES

1 BLK. ORGANIZER

1 BOTTLE DASANI H2O

1 RITE AID LIP BALM

1 CALENDAR W/2 SAFETY PINS

1 ID BADGE W/STRAP

1 PR. GLASSES

1 BOOK “THE QUEEN OF

1 PR. SUNGLASSES

1 NOKIA PHONE

1 BOTTLE OF RENU

1 COVER GIRL COMPACT

12 QUARTERS

2 PKS TRIDENT GUM

1 PASSPORT

1 PK CHECKS MADE OUT TO XXXX (3)

1 XXXXXXXXXX CHECK CARD

1 XXXXXXXXXX CHECK BOOK

1 KEY RING W/EIGHT KEYS

1 LARGE SAFETY PIN

2 NAILS

7 ONE DOLLAR BILLS

14 PENNIES

7 NICKLES

10 DIMES

22 QUARTERS

Valuables:

Bills:  7 ONE DOLLAR BILLS

Checks $: 3 = 300.oo

Coins: 6.99 IN ASSORTED COINS

Other: 1 PASSPORT

Keys: 1 KEY RING – 8 KEYS

1 SAFETY PIN

2 NAILS

I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THE ABOVE LIST IS COMPLETE AND THAT THIS ENVELOPE HAS BEEN SEALED IN MY PRESENCE.

This is the world's tallest thermometer.

this is Annette Schwarz, the world's tallest thermometer, Death Valley, January 2008

This is my split lip.this is my split lip, best western hotel room, Woodland Hills, September 2009                                        and again

No kidding.