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Confession July 30, 2009

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I know many of my friends would disapprove. After all, this is the summer of everyday Rain. But last night, when Rain arrived on Route 153 with such strength, self-assurance, and swagger, I climbed the stairs and went to bed with him. For well more than an hour, his performance didn’t waver—it was practically tropical. When at last he let up a bit, I fell asleep in his arms, comforted by his aural caresses.

Just before dawn, Rain woke me up. There for awhile, he was as intense as last night, but his endurance fell within more normal limits. The sweetness of it all made me want to stay forever in perpetual bliss of Rain/slumber/Rain/slumber/Rain.

No doubt there are many who were hurt by last night’s selfish show of force. Please, don’t encourage him, my friends would beg.

So I’m taking a few days off. I’m leaving town, heading east. While I’m away, I don’t even want to think about him. To prove my determination, or maybe as an act of faith, I will pack sunscreen. It’s time to save my skin.

I’ve Been to a Marvelous Party July 26, 2009

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

with thanks to Noel Coward and our hosts

I’ve been to a marvelous party
With Mad’son and Mimi and Shayne.
We could all be outside
In rare lack of collide
Of clouds bringing quotidian rain.
The hosts put out bowls of sangria
And selzer to fizz up your pour.
Dear Deb had a drink for the first time in weeks,
Which was probably good, as her guests were all freaks
(Some having come after swimming in creeks!).
I couldn’t have liked it more.

I’ve been to a marvelous party.
Natale was in from L.A.
Deb’s brother Jim,
Who’s uncommonly slim,
Kept the table from floating away.
The guests were to fill out the potluck
With gourmet temptations galore,
So Lali brought some of her famous goat cheese,
And Ali, a hot dish with fresh zucchinis,
And Mary’s confections brought us to our knees.
I couldn’t have liked it more.

I’ve been to a marvelous party.
Soon Monty arrived with the Veuve.
When asked if he’s maybe
Prepared for this baby,
He said no (but has requisite nerve).
The baby will be here in August—
Quite likely in three weeks or four.
We marveled at Sarah, so great now with child.
(Some of us find reproduction très wild,
our own needs for progeny terribly mild).
I couldn’t have liked it more.

I’ve been to a marvelous party.
Most everyone gave me a hug.
Darling Ron was there, even,
Smiling slyly, and Steven
Just sold Parker Posey a rug.
Shayne and Mimi got into a dog fight,
Which failed to provide needed gore.
Lizzie was learning to read others’ auras.
Tom told a tale of lead-poisoning horrors.
Dan got the ’scope out to look at the star-ars.
I couldn’t have liked it more.

I’ve been to a marvelous party.
Ed drank his iced rum and coke.
Paul did his thing
To remain Garnish King
And Kate married some Tim guy named Hoch.
Dona wowed us with yoga positions
To get us all onto the floor.
Sioux brought an odd sculpture that made us all stare,
Sir Duke made no mention of “found underwear,”
And Aidan, on Wii, made a left-handed spare.
I couldn’t have liked it more.

I’ve been to a marvelous party.
Some guests were cavorting with yaks.
The kestrels were flying,
The sunlight was dying—
We all seemed at last to relax.
And in the crepuscular moments
Up bubbled an esprit de corps.
The Milky Way shot through the dark, moonless night.
The bonfire gave off some wood smoke and light.
We were all rather grateful for the invite.
I couldn’t have liked it more.

Neurotic Spirals and Naïvete July 20, 2009

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

“When you don’t have anything nice to say . . . ”

My silence of late has something to do with this adage.

I’ve had lots of work to do, which has kept me busy. But in my spare hours, I’ve been spending quality time with my neuroses, which, of late, seem to be taking the opportunity to spiral out of control.

An example. This is me: Why do I have these headaches? Is this a dizzy spell? What is that? That, that there. That wasn’t there before. It’s probably fatal. I’m probably dying.

Here’s another example. Me, again: Can I actually buy this luxury item at this amazing price that is still a stretch for someone in my tax bracket? Can I purchase something in these days of economic duress simply because of Love and Beauty? What if someone loses a job? What if my cars or appliances turn on me? What is oil going to cost this winter? What if I can’t pay my taxes? What about my retirement fund? What if I’m dying and have massive medical bills? I’m probably dying.

Now, aren’t you relieved that I’ve spared you endless posts of this nature?

I now move from neurosis to naïvete.

My own naïvete is a constant source of amazement to me—has been, my whole life. I can’t really decide if it’s naïvete or obliviousness. But what’s brought this to my attention yet again, most recently, is this whole Facebook thing. Specifically, when people from high school find you and “friend” you. (I will put quotes around that noun-being-used-as-verb just once. It will appear again unfettered.)

There’s a 30-year high school reunion coming up next year, so there’s been a lot of activity on Facebook, both, I believe, because it’s such an interesting tool and because early planning for the event is now under way. When I see people I remember from high school on Facebook, people I may have been around a lot but didn’t know well, I do nothing. I’m an introvert, and I don’t really believe I’m remembered.

Apparently people do remember me. I get friend requests from people I probably saw every day for years but still can’t claim that we knew each other. And guess what? I’m flattered that they want to friend me. I’ve enjoyed my high school reunions and have often wished I had known a lot of these people better back in the day. So I pretty much always say yes to these friend requests. Plus, I thought I was invisible, and maybe this means I wasn’t.

Some of these connections have been very rewarding. But here’s the thing. OK, I’ll get to the thing, but in this roundabout manner:

You know that pesky political spectrum? I think of myself as politically moderate. That said, I definitely fall on a particular side of that word on the spectrum. In fact, if “moderate” is exactly the middle, it’s possible (but by no means certain) that I may fall as far as halfway between moderate and the far end of my side of the spectrum.

In becoming friends with former classmates on Facebook, I have discovered that where I grew up was much, much more on the other side of this spectrum than I had any inkling of.

So, I happily accept a friend invitation, then I check out his/her profile, and then I am suddenly horrified.

I envision this other person checking out my profile and being similarly horrified.

So far I have not unfriended anyone as a result of this horror (and I probably won’t before the reunion unless pushed to the extreme). I figure I will try to be open-minded—not in the sense that I will change my mind on any of these issues—but, for awhile, it can’t hurt to be friendly and try to be OK with who these people—who have reached out to me—are. Most of them seem pretty nice. I want to think that somehow we can all get along.

But still, it’s kind of scary.

I’m probably dying.

It’s Dark in There: Nightmares, Subways, Boxes July 7, 2009

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

In the middle of the night, I woke up making one of those half-scream sounds I make when I’m attempting to scream in a dream. It’s most disturbing.

I don’t think I have what would qualify as true recurring nightmares anymore. I used to, a bit, as a kid. But some anxiety-producing themes do surface semiregularly. Over the past few years, for example (and this was the case last night), subways have figured prominently.

I know, I know. Could my subconscious pick a more obvious metaphor?

I love subways. I love their beauty, their practicality, their impossibility. So it kind of pisses me off that they are not playing well in my dreams.

More often than not, the theme is one of frustration. No matter what I do, even when I do everything right—use crisp bills in the machine, take the right train, get off at the right stop—something is going horribly wrong and I am not able to do what needs to be done. The scream, I think, is usually a frustrated scream.

Occasionally, though, there is an element of fear in the dream, usually relating to having to get off the train somewhere obviously unsafe. I only had a couple of bad things happen to me on the subway in my waking life: the one time someone pushed up against me in the crowded car and I thought, hmmm, that feels familiar, I wonder what . . . oh. And then the time some kid and a few of his close personal friends walked toward quite-alone me way out at the end of the platform and flashed a knife, which, to this day, I’m not certain was real (but I have to assume it was), and then backed away when I looked him in the eye and said, “What are you doing?” I was about 10 days away from moving to Vermont. Great, I thought. After all that waiting, I nearly didn’t make it.

The recent crash on the DC Metro hit me particularly hard; it was on the route I took every day. In fact, it happened right near the station where the kid pulled the maybe-a-knife, that particular station being one where some trains turned around, so if you had to go a little further on the line, which I did, you had to get off and wait for the next train.

But this is just a prelude to talking about another of my recurring dreams, one that I expected to resurface, but which has not. I could have sworn I wrote about it already, but I’m not finding evidence of that. It has to do with a post office box.

Here we go again, I hear you sigh.

Yes. When I was bemoaning finally letting go of Box 84 last fall, one point I was certain I had mentioned—but which I apparently did not—was that one of my recurring dreams has to do with my college post office box. For many years, I’d have this dream in which I suddenly remember that I’ve forgotten to get my mail at that box. That I’ve in fact forgotten to go get it for months or for years. I’m sure there are bills to pay, all sorts of things I haven’t taken care of. I try to get there and am thwarted all along the way. I can’t get back to the college; if I get to the college, I can’t get into the building; if I get into the building, there’s too much mail and there’s a slip I need to give to the postmaster to get the rest, but the window is closed. This anxious dream, I fear, says way too much about my personality.

And I was pretty sure that once I gave up Box 84, I would start having the dreams about it.

But so far, no. Just subway dreams.

When I recently went to my college reunion, I decided I had to visit my old PO box. I have a certain fondness for it, after all, and hey, sometimes I can face my demons. And now, I’m going to share with you one of the horrifying faces of my recurring dreams:


Be very afraid.

A Series of Things: The Cow Bowl July 2, 2009

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.

I have a favorite bowl. It is just less than 9 inches wide and about 2.5 inches deep. It was thrown by a potter named Jeffrey and has a cow painted on it. The cow was painted by my husband Tim. The bowl looks like this:

cow bowl

When I say it’s my favorite bowl, I mean it’s my favorite bowl to eat from. Because there is only one bowl like this, not two, I only eat out of it when I’m alone. It’s great for big salads. It’s great for Asian food. It’s better than a plate if you want to watch TV while stuffing your piehole. It’s the perfect size.

I keep looking for bowls-I-would-love-to-eat-from-close-to-this-size, but I haven’t found the right ones yet.

I also love this bowl because it’s a part of our long-ago history.

When we lived in DC, Tim and I spent a lot of time recreating (hiking, biking, birding, fishing) at a couple of old Civil War hot spots—namely Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I’d spent a lot of time at both those places during high school, and both were a manageable driving distance from the city.

At Harper’s Ferry, we befriended a potter named Jeffrey, who had a shop there. We fell in love with his raku pieces. We stopped in every time we were in town.

The raku was the artsy stuff, but to pay the bills, Jeffrey did a lot of barnyard pieces too, especially cows. People loved to buy a piece of pottery with a cow painted on it. Tim had a serious hankering to throw a few pots, and when Jeffrey discovered Tim was an artist, he offered to hire Tim to paint cows on the pottery in exchange for some money, some discounts, and some time at the wheel.

So Tim ended up painting a lot of cows for Jeffrey. I can’t remember what his top cow-per-hour rate ended up being, but it was something to be proud of. Of course, after painting all those cows, Tim didn’t really have the energy to throw pots. You know how that goes.

Then, in 1993, Jeffrey died very suddenly; he was in his early fifties, I think.

We have some beautiful raku pieces of his. Some of our friends do, too—wedding gifts from us.

But this cow bowl—I use it. We spend a lot of time together: me, the bowl, Jeffrey, Tim, and this cow.