Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Birthday/Snailkiller/Kick the Dust
I know perfectly well my own egotism,
Know my omnivorous lines and must not write any less,
And would fetch you whoever you are flush with myself.
--Walt Whitman, "Song of Myself"
Is it possible to acknowledge the ego's existence without unwittingly celebrating it? I wonder. I also wonder what it's like to denigrate people from a standpoint of constant superiority instead of viewing the world through a lens of perpetual inferiority, although both modes of being are equally stupid...
Now that I've been dancing for a month (mas o menos), I'm starting to notice the development of some appreciable muscle tone in my heretofore jiggly body. The process of toning up would probably be considerably expedited if I could manage to eat during my shift instead of afterward, but I can't seem to sit still long enough to nibble more than a few almonds in the strip club just yet. In order to gain some upper arm strength I've been practicing dangling from the bottom of the pole on the bar stage when nobody's around; hopefully I'll be hanging upside-down like a pro within the next few weeks; no sense in doing a job if one can't do it well...
My downstairs neighbors moved in the other day. Though the layout of the house is such that randomly bumping into one another will rarely, if ever, happen, I'm unbelievably glad to finally be sharing this big house with two other warm bodies-- it was starting to feel like the drafty, haunted house I lived in as a child, a converted hotel which was built in the 1800's and so creepy there were locks ON THE INSIDES of the closets. Shudder...
Anyway, in the interest of coming to terms with the horrible fact that I am now a year older, I decided the only way to stay sane yesterday was to do something useful and physically exhausting, thereby (theoretically) achieving some peace through physical catharsis.
My spacious-for-Brooklyn backyard has functioned as a trashheap of almost fantastic proportions (kind of like the mile-high leaf pile/dumping ground in the garden of the Gorgs from “Fraggle Rock”) for far too long for my pathologically resourceful Midwestern sensibilities, so I decided I'd do my new neighbors and myself a favor and clean it up so we can make the most of the patio and barbecue pit.
It looked horrible at first.
I was delighted to resuce a snail from the underside of a log I moved. It was cute.
A child talked to me from the window of the apartment building next door for awhile. She was cute, too.
After awhile I noticed a strange crunching sensation under my feet, as if I were walking on eggshells. With horror, I noticed-- too late-- the bodies of about a jillion yellow snails, smashed to fragments unwittingly under my feet, tragic victims killed in the process of clearing away the wood and cinderblocks under which they had been living. I tried valiantly to avoid them afterward, but to no avail. I cringed every time I stepped on one inadvertently, feeling like an SS soldier under Hitler “just doing my duty”. I rationalized that killing the snails was unavoidable and, really, sometimes one has to crack a few eggs to make an omelette in the name of a higher cause-- in this case, the facilitation of the twin virtues of utility and beauty.
Still, I really felt like a murderess.
It was fucking horrible to my delicate vegan sensibilities... you know, the ones that easily weathered 6 months spent stabbing men with large-gauge needles and beating them bloody in a Dungeon without a peep because of that magic-wand called CONSENT.
Poor snails. I hate myself!
It took a few hours, but I got some major work done; listening to soulful music made the time fly even more rapidly. I tried to limit my itunes playlist to Bushwick-friendly jams such as “PYT” (“Off the Wall” is played religiously at every block party in the summer round these parts) and old-school Keith Sweat to avoid alienating my neighbors/ getting the “Damn that's some honky shit, Pippy Longstocking” headshake listening to, say, New Kids on the Block would probably inspire. This is the hood, after all.
“Looks like you're doing some hard work!” my little neighbor from next door called from her window.
“Guess so, honey!” I said back to her, realizing this is, by the conservative American ethos, the only honorable way I've used my body for “work” in quite awhile. Achieving a goal using my physical being without factoring sexuality into the equation is pretty rare for me these days. It was a nice change.
Afterward, like the hookers after a catfight on the North Avenue Bridge I used to observe in Chicago and the disciples following Christ's sage advice after preaching to a rough crowd, I kicked the dust (or mud, in this case) from my shoes, gave myself a good, hard shake and met the rest of the evening's events as a fucking adult instead of a whining brat*.
Later on, I got a fabulous dinner, a beautiful cake from Babycakes, a bunch of (non-sexual) toys, books, treats, DVD's, cards, and other nice presents chosen thoughtfully and with impeccable taste.
I even heard the magic words:
“We should go look at puppies for you.”
Awww, maybe I'll get that Pomeranian puppy after all. Regardless, I can always buy one myself in a few weeks, though-- it's mostly a simple matter of decision, I suppose. Just like everything else in this life...
I still have high hopes that a POMERANIAN will be like CONSENT in that it will confer absolution and/or comfort in the aftermath of certain sticky situations.
PS I'm so emotionally retarded/dead sometimes I can't believe it. Blowing out the candles on a birthday cake that's a present from one man while thinking more fondly of another has gotta be the karmic equivalent of shooting a speedball-- spiritually, I'm sure I'll be kissing the floor pretty soon, but what else could I have done? I've been patient for so long, but I can't wait around forever... although I would, I suppose, if the circumstances were just right and the reason was love...
But that wasn't what happened last night.
I'm going to pray for an answer to this one ASAP. No way I want to do intentionally anything mean to anyone. I'm too grateful for the affection I receive than to treat the giver callously, even if the relationship is, by my estimate, a temporary one. I guess I can't coast anymore, wastes too much time and ultimately feels like a sin.
* I'd say bitch here, but I wisely avoid using that term pejoratively anymore