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Sunday, October 28, 2007

hang up

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.
not too long after september 11th, when airport security had been stepped up, molly shannon gave a late night tv interview. instead of promoting her project, she went on, at great length, about how much she enjoyed it when a security agent went through her luggage, item by item, with his pristine gloved hand.

i was riveted as she described the pleasure she reaped from watching the newly-implemented security measure take place: the concurrence of the impersonal, formal act of sterile gloves examining each and every one of her personal items.

it was then that i realized our foibles and that we are all misshapen.

my “thing” is throwing something out.

out of my life forever. i think as i toss the vessel into the recycle bin. i love turning my back on something that’s been the object of my obsession. possessions make me anxious. they make me feel as though i’m weighed down; keeping me from accomplishing something else, keeping me from venturing yonder.

what doesn't help is that i'm often impelled to buy products because they have a neat label, are being sold two-for-one, or are particularly "gentle to the environment".

as a result, a lot of effort and planning goes into getting me to the point where i can be rid of something. of course, not a drop can remain. consumption is not without consequence.

so i consolidate.

all bottles are charily monitored so that when it gets to a level where the remainder can be safely transferred into another, it gets turned upside down.

once emptied, i’ll add water, shake, and use on a light-wash day.

the process of product consolidation, however, is a complex one. one substance cannot simply be added pell-mell to another. they must match in terms of consequence. some product adds hair sheen, while others create an alleged volume. only products that creates a like effect can be united.

some conditioner, no matter how nice it smells, turns out to be a dud. dud conditioners get added to hair before shampooing. does this help in adding gloss and body? i don't know, but it gives me great pleasure when it's time to combine two duds.

i once consolidated wines.

a friend called a few days ago. he inquired as to what i was doing.

"i'm consolidating body lotions."

"funny. that's something my dad would do."

Saturday, October 20, 2007

patron saint

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.
i only just learned last week that godparents are actually supposed give their godchildren gifts and such. possibly acknowledge birthdays. perhaps recognize that they’re alive - considering that, given the unfortunate event of the untimely death of both parents, the child will come and join the family as one of their own.

my parents bestowed upon me my mother’s best friend and her unimpressive husband as my godparents. they lived halfway across the country, but i still protested when forced to visit.

"you have to come and you have to like them because they will take you if dad and i die."

i felt, however, that norma et al. had enough kids. she and her husband had produced many, many progeny. they had adopted several others as well. which is, as an act, quite honorable.

in any case, they were not very charming or kind children. the older, teenage-like ones ran amuck. they drove irocs and parked them on the lawn. many girlfriends were always over. the younger bevy were always kind of soiled, somewhat forgotten.

on our last visit to norma's, a little over 20 years ago, we were unexpectedly permitted to enter the pantry and select a small, individual bottle of soda. this was a huge treat for my sister and me, as we were generally deprived of anything that had sugar. but this was not the case with the norma family. they had cases and cases of these stubby bottles from the “pop shoppe”, with flavors like black cherry, cherry, and lime ricky.

i chose cream soda, because not only was it was my absolute favorite, this one was clear, like 7-up. i had only seen pink cream soda before.

i looked up at my mom. "can i really have this?"

she nodded. but it seemed like she was only permitting it because she felt bad about the horrible time she was making us have.

we all sat down to dinner. i'm sure it consisted of something instant.

the norma husband lumbered in from outside and wandered into the panty to pick out his own unique bottle of soda. this was apparently routine suppertime practice.

he emerged from the panty enraged. and he proceeded to yell.

"which one of you rotten kids took my cream soda!!?" he was infuriated. "you KNOW you're not allowed drink MY CREAM SODA!! THOSE CREAM SODAS ARE MINE! AND THEY ARE FOR ME!"

we sat frozen, but i got side glances from all offspring at the table. they knew i was the culprit. i was terrified. i had never before been subject to such rage.

"there was ONE cream soda left and i was SAVING IT. WHO TOOK IT? WHO!?"

it was as though he hadn't even realized there were three extra people sitting at this table - guests in fact. guests who had been offered his cream soda.

one of his teenage sons accused him of drinking it the previous night, implying that he was too stupid to be able to keep count. i couldn't tell if he was trying to cover for me or taking that opportunity to disrespect his father.

"no! i know there was ONE LEFT. i was SAVING IT!! i guess i’ll have to have this then. he had grabbed an orange soda and slammed it on the table. he wolfed down his dinner.

once people started to stir, i drank the cream soda. i garnered no pleasure. i only drank it to hide the evidence.

there was never any returning to the house of norma, either as a guest or to join their brethren.

i think most of my godsiblings have moved out of the house, and the norma husband bought my grandmother’s 1972 camaro fastback and paid her about half of what it was worth.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

when he pours, he reigns

Originally uploaded by kristalynn.
a couple of nights ago, i went out for drinks with a friend. due to a recently implemented "new activity" policy, we decided to go to a place where neither of us had been.

we sidled up to the bar and ordered some drinks. i was looking out onto the street while she had a full view of the bartenders. it wasn't two minutes before i saw her wince.

and then she scowled. "they're doing tricks. the bartenders are doing little tricks."

i turned just in time to see a martini shaker roll up someone's arm. "oh jeese. they ARE doing tricks."

i saw a flash of orange reflect against her face and then my drink appeared.

"was this on fire?" i asked.

"yes it was." she avoided my gaze. she was mad.

"you know, i'm a simple girl. i didn't need this juggled at me. i don't want it anymore. i'm too embarrassed."

"well everyone's already seen you and your on-fire drink."

i took a sip. i wished all the alcohol had not been burned off. "look," i said. "i can understand you're annoyed. we can switch spots if you like. but i warn you, i've got a view of a wall of overweight, undersunned men. it ain't pretty." i turned around again. one bartender was slinging bottles like they were guns in the wild west.

"let’s just finish these," i pointed sheepishly to our drinks, "and we'll go."

"oh you can't leave just yet," said the bartender, gaëtan, when we asked for our bill. "we're about to do our spectacle. raspberry shooters for everyone!"

what can i tell you about the spectacle except that there was, among other things, spillage, a mild cascading of bottles, and one missed behind-the-back catch. it all ended, quite flaringly, with two bartenders spitting their raspberry shooters over a flaming pyramid of the same. the left side of my body burned.

"we're done here," said my friend as she downed her shooter. "and i can't WAIT to hear what your boyfriend is going to say.

"yeah, "flair" bartending," he told me the next day. "it's huge."

"well i've never seen it before. well, not since cocktail with your friend tom cruise."

"you know, it's really telling of these times. when everything lacks substance. you won't notice that what you bought sucks because you're being bedazzled."

"there were a lot of girls there. all girls. except one wall of greasy men."

"it's for girls. i don't know many men who'd be impressed by that."

"imagine if i was forced, say to save the universe or something, to date someone who loved - just loved - flair bartending."

he grimaced. "it doesn't impress me at all. in fact, it makes me quite uncomfortable."