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Posts Tagged ‘words’

Catcalling season is here. As it has been for 30 years, if I had a dollar for every man who’s already said something sordid and gross to me, I could get 10 people dinner at Peter Luger’s today. 30 years.  Since I was 11. Guess how young I looked at 11? I would be a multimillionaire with all those dollars.

Two days ago, some guy talked about my bottom for an entire city block. “C’mon, girl, gimme dat azz!” He was serious. I almost felt sorry for him.  And he was about the 7th or 8th rude man that day.

Perhaps you think that at my age, I’d feel complimented by men loudly talking about my body as I go along, minding my own business. “Listen, old broad, you should feel flattered”, right? Imagine your wallets, fellas, in clear view to passers-by; your money exposed, no matter how modest you were being with it. Every few yards, some woman loudly remarks about your money, how she’d like to get with your money, and “Ooh, baby, you know you wanna give me that money!” Would you consider her for your next date? No? But why not? She’s only complimenting you on your money!

Is there no other way for these dudes to feel manly other than trying to assert some masculine privilege on strangers? Do they somehow really believe they can roll up and get sexual favours from women? Not. Happening. Idiot!

I won’t look back on it at 82, thinking, “Damn, I was something in my day.”

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The numbers titling the previous posts were an experiment. I bet myself that I wouldn’t make it to 100 “real” entries, because I know me. I start a new endeavor with a parade down Main Street, with fanfare and cheering, put ads in all the papers, make grand announcements that break up that night time soap opera people love so damn much, that sort of thing, and then it all collapses like a kid’s balloon 6 days after the birthday party.

Well, I won. Today I’m getting an vanilla ice cream from the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.

With numbers, I psychologically shielded myself from the world. My “#56” would be way below a slew of other webpages with “#56” in them. But can’t be a coward all my life, can I?

So I’ve actually done it. I’ve begun something and have seen it through to at least 100 posts.

In order to make this blog more of what it can be, I will use actual titles in the headings now as I continue to refine and share my small craft here; stories, dialogues and monologues with the occasional observational essay thrown in, matched with a photo I’ve taken. I’ve come to that point in life where I’m putting my real self out there and just have to say, “Fuck it. This is it, this is me, this is what’s fomenting and fermenting in my imaginings, OK?” Granted, I don’t know about you. I wouldn’t presume to judge.

Thank you all for being here with me.

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“Could I see a little more gravitas? Your father is dead and you think something’s going on, but you’re too afraid to find out, yes? Again. Please.”

“’K. Ahem! Oh, that this tootoo solid FLESH wouldmeltthaw and resolveITSELF in to a DOO! Or that th’Everlasting had not fixed hiscanon against self-slaughter! O God! GOD!”

“Stop.”

Rebecca Nelson warily regarded Colleen Lucas.  Rebecca hadn’t cast this all-woman Hamlet; she came on to direct only today, when Sheila Rodriguez called begging for help. Millicent Taylor had fallen ill. “Walking pneumonia”. No matter; the problem now was Colleen Lucas was terrible and Rebecca suspected Colleen had gotten extremely cozy with Millicent to get the part. There was no denying that she was lovely to look at, but seemingly that’s all she was. Was it too late to reframe the show? Rebecca knew several actors who would be splendid, including one who looked like a younger Kevin Kline.

Try to work with what you’ve got, Becs.

“You have read Hamlet?”

“Yes, ma’am. It was sad.”

“What do you think Hamlet’s problem was?”

“Hamlet’s the real king, and his uncle stole the crown.”

“Are you sure that’s the issue?”

“Yeah!”

“’Mad’ here means ‘crazy’, not ‘angry’.”

“Oh… OK. I’m so silly.”

Colleen batted her eyes.

Poor thing. I’m not gay.

“Why do you want to do this play?”

“’Cause it’s famous!”

Oh, Millie. You must bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, because this child must go.

“Come sit by me, Colleen. Let’s chat.”

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“A children’s book? You.”

“Yeah.”

“What sort of children’s book?’

“You know ‘Little Bunny Foofoo’?”

“Forest, field mice, bopping on heads?”

“Yup! Gonna reconfigure Foofoo as a ninja! And the field mice are assassins sent over to the kill the fairy, and…”

“You stop that. You stop that right now.”

“What? There is nothing wrong with my idea!”

Everything is wrong with your idea. For a start, why would a fairy need a bunny ninja? Don’t you think that fairies, beings with magical powers, you remember, can protect themselves?”

“Well, I…”

“And if you want cute, tiny creatures that can cut a bitch, we’ve already got Pokemon. What were you going to call this trainwreck?”

Foofoo Ninja.”

“No. I’m not going to let you do this. What age group were you going to sell this to? What mother in her right mind would buy such a book for her child?”

“I was gonna do it like a comic book?”

“Then you’d be the Ed Wood of comics. Seriously.”

“You never like my ideas!”

“Because they’re stupid! Poo-shaped cereal? Spark-shooting drumsticks? Collapsible TVs?”

“That last one is a good idea!”

“Look, I know you want to leave a legacy, but I don’t think inventing is your forte. Or writing. OK, OK, don’t look so sad. How’s the story end?”

“Foofoo and the fairy get married.”

“Aw. That is sweet.”

“Then they start taking over the world from New York City. I’m thinking a Nickelodeon series!”

“Stop thinking. Please.”

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“You’re pretty good for a guy who’s never around kids.”

“What? Oh, holding babies. He’s a cute little thing.”

“It’s on purpose.”

“I’m glad Fiona’s not here to see this.”

“Fiona’s not gonna be around long enough to know anything about you.”

“Hey…! Well, you’re right, probably not.”

“Dad wants to know how long you’re gonna ‘pump and dump’ these women.”

“Everybody’s eyes are wide open. Tell him that. Dad and his phrasing.”

“It’s why we made out like bandits.”

“I’ll never understand why you stopped. We miss you, man.  As your brother, I can say that.”

“Remember Chicago? Three years ago?  That show was everything I dreamed of; the energy, the flow, it was…magic. Any show after that would be just chasing the dragon. I knew it. But at the same time, I missed Cassie so much, it was like another guy was on stage, without her there. Only way I can explain it.”

No chick would ever get me to give this up.”

“You wouldn’t let any woman get that close.”

“What, you’re Freud now? Sheesh!”

“Nobody’s saying you’ve got to let it all go and get an office job. But you’re 32. Think about your legacy.”

“Five platinum albums are my legacy. The sun gonna blow in 5 million years, anyway, so who gives a shit about legacies? I’m gonna enjoy my life.”

“Well, all righty, then.”

“I’m not putting down your choices, OK?”

“Yeah, I know.”

“He is a cute kid.”

“Thanks. Cassie helped.”

“Dude, shut up.”

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“The magic hour.”

That’s what they call it, right? Two times a day when the sun is at just the right angle, and even trash piled in a pothole-filled street can look like treasures. Do our lives have magic hours? Can I look at the moments and, even if those moments were times when I’ve been frightened or sad or anxious or guilty, can I look at those moments and see them as being magic? As being miracles of consciousness? Because they are, whether I recognize them or not.

So much of the time, I’ve gone through life in a daze, partially from beating myself up over things that aren’t even going to matter ten minutes hence, much less six months or twenty years from now, and rob myself of the joy of existing in this moment. When I’m not careful, I allow my thoughts to fill my heart with regrets over what I’ve said or done (and some of those things should definitely have been said and done) instead of realizing that they’re all just lessons. To rub those memories like a worry stone doesn’t allow me to learn anything, and then I make the mistake again. It’s all of a piece, if I forget the truth of things.

This moment is, as are all our moments, awesome. As in “to be filled with awe and wonder” and not restricted to when you’ll look your hottest in photos taken outside. Even the mistakes are awesome. Maybe especially the mistakes.

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As Marnie approached the heavy revolving doors of the BluCorp headquarters, she forced herself to ignore the all too familiar tightening of her stomach. Every approach to these doors during her three years, eight months, and twenty-two days of work as an analyst, she entered the Le Corbusier-inspired behemoth, say “Good morning” to Rudy the guard, flick a card in front of the gate, ride the express elevator to the thirty-fifth floor and zip from there past the new receptionist (who was always “new”) to her cubicle outside the CFOs office. This had been nearly every weekday for three years, eight months and twenty two days, save ten days a year for vacation.

Three years, nine months and fifteen days earlier, Marnie’s father had demanded she stop it with the stand-up comedy. “Dammit, it’s time you got a real job and a husband! Quit f$^#ing around! You’re twenty-four already. If you were going to make it, you’d’ve done it by now! Christ!” Her mother had said nothing at the time, but walked out of the room. Well, Marnie inwardly conceded, I am broke and living in an apartment with four people. The lack of comforts, such as a car and food not made from white flour wrapped in a plastic bag, were beginning to bother her. She allowed her father to call a friend.

Marnie looked up and out the window onto the roofs of similarly grey and monotonous buildings outside. And no husband yet, either.

Whose fault was this?

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