wonderful, how are you

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

I am having the strangest sort of day -- I'm in suspiciously fine spirits. This feels good, but at the same time I'm kind of holding my breath. There's a weirdly reckless quality to this mood, like I'm braced for something bad but I'll quit believing in it right before it gets here and it'll bounce right off of me. I'm playing chicken with a bad mood! It's not quite as jolly as a regular good mood, but the fear that I won't jump out of the way in time lends an interesting air of imaginary danger to the proceedings. ANYWAY. Here are some things that have either given me a lift or made me cackle with glee lately:

Conversation overheard in the park today:

Man: Do you like egg salad?
Little Boy: (full-body yet noiseless disapproval of the very concept of egg salad, and a silent curse on whoever invented it for good measure.)
Man: what about sour cream and onion?
Little Boy: that's good.
Man (to other little boy): do you like egg salad?
Other Little Boy: RAAAAAAAAAAAR!!!!! (accompanied by fearsome dinosaur face and arms.)

I have no idea if dinos are pro or con egg salad, but it seemed to settle the issue.

the iTunes visualizer: I was all over this feature when I first got my laptop, but then I kind of forgot about it. For some reason I put it on yesterday to test out a new mix cd while I was puttering around the room. It's so hypnotic and fun! I was pleased to see that the random visualizer corresponded with how I thought some songs should look.

nano thought: ideally I would have had this thought a month ago, but I had it yesterday. It's still early enough in the month that I'm not freaked out. I decided freakouts are not what nano is about for me this year, anyway. (woohoo!) To cement my reputation as some sort of insane Oracle of iPod follower, just as I was debating a certain location for my story, iPod played a song about that very place. (ooooh)

it's really fall: Every time I go to the park lately I feel like I'm in a seasonal montage. The leaves are falling, flailing, fluttering. Prime montage weather was really about two weeks ago, but it's still lovely. The lesson I have FINALLY learned is to just let them fall. I had this crazy notion that I needed to catch one (for luck or something), which was ridiculous since falling leaves are not noted for their predictable landing patterns. I looked like an insane woman having seizures and I NEVER managed to get one before it hit the ground -- this made me feel unlucky which was sillier yet. I quit trying. I just enjoy them as they fall and it's so much better. Sometimes they fall right on me, which I can't help but think is nicer than one I managed to catch while terrorizing squirrels, running into joggers and providing pathetic amusement for forty 8 year olds playing soccer.

"The only place you will be singing is in jail" : said to Wade "Cry-Baby" Walker during his court hearing before he's sent to juvie. I saw part of Cry-Baby today, and I always forget how much fun it is! It's so gleefully trashy and silly, I love it. In addition to Johnny Depp and a host of John Waters regulars, Iggy Pop is featured as Uncle Belvedere Rickettes. Hee hee hee.

this poem! My sister gave me The McSweeney's Book of Poets Picking Poets for my birthday in July. I just found it again while straightening the precarious stack of books by my bed. (I was afraid they would fall over in the night and give me a heart attack.) Anyway, I actually yelped out loud when I read the first poem by David Berman. This is a summer poem rather than a fall poem, but even though it is not currently seasonal, it resonated with me and my oddly good mood. It's a great collection, you should read it.

The Charm of 5:30 
by David Berman

It's too nice a day to read a novel set in England.

We're within inches of the perfect distance from the sun,
the sky is blueberries and cream,
and the wind is as warm as air from a tire.
Even the headstones in the graveyard
seem to stand up and say "Hello! My name is..."

It's enough to be sitting here on my porch,
thinking about Kermit Roosevelt,
following the course of an ant,
or walking out into the yard with a cordless phone
to find out she is going to be there tonight.

On a day like today, what looks like bad news in the distance
turns out to be something on my contact, carports and white
courtesy phones are spontaneously reappreciated
and random "okay"s ring through the backyards.

This morning I discovered the red tints in cola
when I held a glass of it up to the light
and found an expensive flashlight in the pocket of a winter coat
I was packing away for the summer.

It all reminds me of that moment when you take off your sunglasses
after a long drive and realize it's earlier
and lighter out than you had accounted for.

You know what I'm talking about,

and that's the kind of fellowship that's taking place in town, out in
the public spaces. You won't overhear anyone using the words
"dramaturgy" or "state inspection" today. We're too busy
getting along.

It occurs to me that the laws are in the regions and the regions are
in the laws, and it feels good to say this, something that I'm almost
sure is true, outside in the sun.

Then to say it again, around friends, in the resonant voices of a
nineteenth-century senator, just for a lark.

There's a shy looking fellow on the courthouse steps, holding up a
placard that says "But, I kinda liked Reagan." His head turns slowly
as a beautiful girl walks by, holding a refrigerated bottle up against
her flushed cheek.

She smiles at me and I allow myself to imagine her walking into
town to buy lotion at a brick pharmacy.
When she gets home she'll apply it with great lingering care before
moving into her parlor to play 78 records and drink gin-and-tonics
beside her homemade altar to James Madison.

In a town of this size, it's certainly possible that I'll be invited over
one night.

In fact I'll bet you something.

Somewhere in the future I am remembering today. I'll bet you
I'm remembering how I walked into the park at five thirty,
my favorite time of day, and how I found two cold pitchers
of just poured beer, sitting there on the bench.

I am remembering how my friend Chip showed up
with a catcher's mask hanging from his belt and how I said

great to see you, sit down, have a beer, how are you,
and he turned to me with the sunset reflecting off his contacts
and said, wonderful, how are you.
5 comments on "wonderful, how are you"
  1. Cry Baby is always forgotten about and it is fun. Traci LOrds getting upset about being swapped, for a milkmaid? Priceless.

  2. Hee hee! There are so many moments like the Traci Lords one -- I need to watch the whole thing again soon.

  3. Sounds like a good idea. Maybe I will rent that today and watch it after I watch The Filthy World, a little movie thing of John Waters discussing whatever it is he likes to discuss. I saw him in Eugene years ago, maybe like 2001, and the evening was a bit of a bust. He seemed to be there just to collect a paycheck, but if you've spent any time at all in Eugene I guess it would make sense. Everyone that visits should get paid.

  4. Actually, it's This Filthy World, not The...

  5. Berman is the bomb. I, too, discovered him in the McSweeney's collection, and promptly ordered his book, ACTUAL AIR. It's grrrrrrrrrrrrreat.


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