Sunday, April 29, 2007

When I am 85

This is what I will remember:
The romantic sweetness of rum,
the melting feel of chocolate on my tongue,
the tired tautness of skin after a day in the sun.

When we dance I think about the beach.
I think about your surprising strength,
and how I depend upon it.
When we dance, I think about the beach,
and tall tales told on patios.
I think about the tantalizing mix of sugar and lemon and salt
at the juncture of your neck and shoulder,
the way that you smile at my dissimulation.
I think about your certainty,
your suspicion,
and your inescapable forgiveness.
In this room,
full of people I will miss
and some that I will not miss so much,
I feel the humid wind again.

And I will remember
how deliberately I planned to walk away from everything.

I would peel off all of my skin, leaving it at the water’s edge,
and stroll into the waves like Edna Pontellier.
I would use the bones of my arms and legs as weapons.
I would lie on the floor of the ocean and disappear,
consumed by rage and mollusks.
I would let my heart beat itself to death.

But you were there,
like wind,
To tell me stories of redemption.
You were there,
like sunlight,
To revive me with the sparkle of wine.
You were there,
like water,
To remind me of the old gods.

A Band I Love

This is one of the most delicious combinations of pathos and simulation that I've seen. Totally true and totally false--bothatonce.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Yummy new shoes

These are the new shoes that I bought yesterday. Don't they look like they could get up to some serious no-good? Yum.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Why don't we have national candlelight vigils for the all the dead people in Iraq?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Things I think about when I am sick

Lying in bed today,
I was thinking about crumpled envelopes and driving directions.
I was thinking about how to get to you.
Well, actually, I was thinking about the return—
how to avoid the traffic,
which streets to take to miss the most insufferable lights.
Because, you know, at that time of day, the
traffic is always terrible.
And some of the streetlights in this town
seem to have been put there by
sneering civil engineers—
scientific malcontents,
determined to prove that there is no such thing as eternity,
and if there is an eternity, it won’t be fun.

So I was thinking I would take Speedway
back up from 29th or 31st (or whatever the name of that street is).
I can never remember the name of that street.

It was a nice distraction—
to think of maps, instead of empty beds,
of streetlights, instead of crumpled envelopes.
Crumpled envelopes,
that were filled, at one point,
with laughing, sunlit pictures,
love letters, birthday cards, promises and sincerity.
Now they are lying in a pile at the foot of my bed…
Post-marked, empty vessels,
Ready for the recycling bin.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


This conversation turns me.
The physicality of your voice,
The tangibility of your explanation,
The silkiness of your logic.
I can feel fingers of thought running up and down my spine,
Tentatively playing with the back of my neck,
Lingering at the curve of waist,
And the slope of shoulder.

Words, like lemondrops, tart and sweet and (possibly) alcoholic…
You place each of them carefully on the shelves of our conversations.
You use metaphors deliberately.
Conscious of the shadows these words cast,
Shadows that stretch from decade to decade.
You are telling stories about the past.

I feel drunk,
And I stare into your mouth,
Smiling at the awkward innuendos
And quick, quick, quick dismissals.
You are telling stories about the past, I say.
Are there any other kind? you say.
It is all academic, you say.
Of course, I reply.
We are talking about Important Things,
And you are quick to change the topic.

I think I make you nervous.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Academic Freedom

The Young Conservatives of Texas, concerned with "neutrality" in the classroom, has created another list of dangerous professors. The list is compiled by student-spies who do not like their professors' politics (read: anything left of Cheney). They are very proud of their list.

They are also very proud of the Minute Men, so they invited Chris Simcox, president of the group, to speak on campus.
Here's what happened:
Be it known to would-be patriots: Chris Simcox, racist president of a known terrorist organization, (and, in a fairly safe inference, other people who like to kill folks) are welcome on the campus of UT. People who object to killing folks are not.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

If I can make it there...

Well, you should know the rest of that little sentence. I received the contract from St. John's in the mail Thursday. So all I have to do now is sign the contract, send it back to the people, finish the dissertation, and then move to the City. That's how people in the know refer to NYC. See? I pay attention.

Am feeling a very interesting combination of cosmopolitan and terror. I will wear beautiful shoes and view many significant cultural demonstrations. I will not freeze to death in ice and snow. I will eat a variety of different ethnic foods. I will ice skate outside. I will teach Argumentation to New Yorkers. I will learn the ins and outs of public transportation. I will walk fast and with determination. I will become Citified.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Water Heater Update

They're soldering things right now, so my kitchen smells like burnt metal. Neat.

Pre-Birthday Adventures

Yesterday (Tuesday) morning:
So I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of running water in my laundry room. Checked out the room and noticed that there was water all over the floor--water which seemed to be coming from the water heater. Panic. Call the office ladies at school. Then call my landlord (who lives in Florida, btw)...

After chatting with them, I called some plumbers, who couldn't make it out to the house until the next morning (today). Thinking to myself, "Alright. I have to be at school, like a minute and a half ago--I'll just put some towels down and when I get home tonight, (at, like 6PM), I'll re-visit the situation."

So, I put towels down, pack my lunch, and leave.

An hour later, I am still worried about the house--have visions of Schnappy rowing around in a little boat. I call my ex to see if he will go over and make sure that the cat is not drowned. He says he will go by in the early afternoon. Feel a little better...

He calls me and leaves a message--I teach from 2-5--to say this, "It looks bad. There's a leaking pipe and the water is collecting rapidly." Panic again. Tell my students about the water heater drama and one woman (thanks, Mallory!) tells me to call the Austin water people, so that they can turn off the water. I do that, and save Schnappy the indignity of rowing like a galley slave.

Spent the night at E!'s house--eating Chinese take-out and watching cable. Super fun slumber party!!! After the fun, though, I lay in bed half the night worrying alternately about the chances of coming home to a smoking hole in the ground AND the fact that I don't have anything to wear for Easter. Worrying is my secret Ninja skill.

This (Wednesday) morning:
Woke up from weird dreams about water and malls. Had some tea and cereal at E!'s house, then came home to my own. Schnapps seems to be holding down the fort quite well... no smoking hole in the ground. The house smells pretty crappy, though, so, as I wait for the plumbers, I open all the windows (allergies be damned!) and light a candle.

Plumbers get here and the story is not-so-good--Need to replace the water heater, it's tilting to the left, and could have fallen down last night if the water hadn't been shut off. Also, apparently there is a warning tag on the water heater that I had not noticed--something DANGER about gas leaks and vents and a variety of ill-sounding events that could or could not occur, depending upon the placement of the water heater and the flow of gas. Awesome. Further, the people who installed this 1935 heater used two different kinds of pipe, the plumber tells me, so there is alot of corrosion. At this he sticks his finger in one of the pipes to show me said corrosion. I have been washing my hair with corrosion. Double awesome.

My new plumber friends are off looking for another water heater right now. They will be back in a little while, they said, and they will replace the whole thing. They seem very nice, and I am glad that they are saving us from hair corrosion and gas leaks.

I need a nap and a martini.