26 February, 2007

One Item

...just enough of that sticky stuff/to hold the seams of your fine blue jeans....

Skintight hiphugger sequin-embellished bellbottom camoflauge trousers.

(Worn by a bleached-blonde crackwhore who looks fifty but is probably thirty. With brown platform wedge espadrille sandals.)

(Velcro Fly; ZZ Top)

20 February, 2007

Silent Squeeze

...sweeter than wine/ softer than a summer's night....

I stand above his prone body. The mirrored lenses obscure whether he is watching me or asleep. His face gives no clue either way. I have no idea what's on my own face, but I doubt that it is as still as his. I step over him and am abruptly beside him- he's seized my wrist to pull me down to sit. He wraps his right arm around my waist and pulls me snugly against his left hip. Tucking his chin over my right shoulder, he keeps me still, as if I could move, with my right arm pinned to my side and my left wrist still circled by his fingers. As if I wanted to move. I lean my head sideways against his, and we sit, wordless, breathing together, until our moment is interrupted by the presence of another person. He releases me gently, and we look at each other for two heartbeats, then I rise.

(This Magic Moment; The Drifters)

19 February, 2007

Drag Only

...I never lost one minute of sleep/ worrying 'bout the way things might have been....


If you're going to dress like Tina Turner, you had better be either

a.) Tina Turner


b.) a man

(Proud Mary; Tina Turner)

13 February, 2007

BuddaPat's Adventures

...I greet them with the widest smile/ Tell them how my life is one big adventure....

Because both Mo and BuddaPat want to see me in it, I wear the red. Mo is fascinated by my white fishnet tights. Coco is fascinated that I can put them on, tug at the toe, and twist them into the proper place. Herb sits in the corner, knitting, until he notices the tag of my bra and tucks it in. Tiberius is the picture of natty splendor. 8Blonde returns from the car, panic relieved, because his shoes were there after all.

Mo puts on the pink. "It's so pretty. Are you sure it's okay to get blood on it?"

I've died in that gown so often, it knows how to wash the blood out its ownself. It's mostly pretty because you're wearing it.

"Hear hear to that! I owe a big thank-you to Coco, because I get to snuggle with Mo this time, and I'm getting paid for it!" BuddaPat wriggles triumphantly.

General merriment and agreement ensue.

Mo arches an eyebrow. "Please. I am a married woman."

BuddaPat waggles his eyebrows. "I know- Grrrraaaaaahggr!"

Hmph. I also am a married woman.

"Whaddayou talkin' about? I date you more than any other woman I know!"

He does, too. But not lately. Thus my pique.


Mo gets one side of him and I the other as we walk to the restaurant. I struggle to match my stride to those of these two long-legged beauties. High-heeled boots do little to make up for short legs, despite the illusion of height.

"I'm a lucky guy, walking to The Vee with two of the most beautiful ladies in Baltimore."

"Too bad they're both married," Mo replies.

Are you kidding? He prefers married ladies. He doesn't have to "maintenance" us.

He laughs and admits to the truth of that.


"Why choose? Use the Wa."

The what?

"The Wa. Do you know Chi? It's like Chi, only Japanese."

I know Chi. It's energy, the flow, letting things come to you.

"You should just choose the one that's best for your throat. What have you got?"

"No, that's not the way of Wa." He turns the two tea packets face-down. "Now choose."

Let Mo choose for me.

"But I want to know what you've got! Mint's for your stomach; what else have you got there?"

"It doesn't matter. Just choose one."

She heaves an exasperated sigh. "Okay, then, I choose the one closest to you, BuddaPat."

He lifts his hand and turns over the tea packet closest to him. It is orange, soothing for my throat. The mint goes back into the basket.

See? The Wa works for you even when you're arguing against it.

A philosophical conversation follows, on the nature of energy flow and imposition of will and the illusion of control. This winds to a natural end and somehow segues into a discussion of dairy farming and pasturization, led by the very furry man at the end of the table.


BuddhaPat dons splendid armor because the poor man's behind me in his van when my car, unmysteriously, stops working at a traffic signal. He helps me to push it out of the intersection and drives me to a gas station. My Buddha in shining armor refuses to let me pump gas into his gas can, or to pour it into the tank when we return to my car. This is embarassing. I almost would rather have called Triple A. But he's right; his way is more time effective. He makes me promise to never let this happen again. I feel foolish that it happened this time. It's been two or three cars ago since I ran out of gas.

He follows protectively until the I take off down Key Highway and he continues on Light Street. He is three blocks from his house when a drunken couple swaying on the corner of Cross Street waiting for the light to change falls into the street just as he's tapped the accelerator.

Holy crap!

"I know, that's what I said!"

Before or after you hit the brake?

"After. I didn't hit 'em. People rushed from the sidewalk to drag them to safety. But, me, I'm just trying to get HOME, you know? I mean, what ELSE is going to happen to me at one-thirty in the morning?"

Well, I don't know. It's an entertaining life you lead these days, my friend.

(Big Time; Peter Gabriel)

07 February, 2007

Weather Report

...Dreamed I was an Eskimo/Frozen winds began to blow/Under my boots and around my toes....

It's wee hours in the morning, and I should go to bed, but it's snowing.

I have no idea why I can't sleep when it snows. It's not as though it's noisy, or I can do anything about it. I'm not even staying on top of an urgent situation. Yet I watch it, check on it.

It may have something to do with having read Robert Frost's lovely poem, Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening, at a very impressionable age.

Who am I kidding? So far, every age I've been, I've been impressionable.

But now, I walk The Questing Sniff through snow that sparkles like spilled salt, and scuff through fluff that puffs like powdered sugar on a beignet. We are not the first to wander through the pristine blanket, but in some places, I meet my own tracks on the way back.

I'll be at Spotlighters on Friday and Saturday with Do Or Die Productions' One Of The Gang, and at Whispers on Sunday with a brand-new show. It's so new, I can't even tell you what it's about. Rehearsal's not until tomorrow, so it maybe hasn't been written yet.

Probably I should get started.

(Don't Eat The Yellow Snow; Frank Zappa)

04 February, 2007

Worth Repeating

...give yourself away/ And you give/ And you give/ And you give yourself away....

She puts her hands on me. Ah, oh, how good-new-familiar-safe-risky this feels. She touches my hip, and I catch myself trying to turn the wrong way, and remember, I always did this.

"Lie on this side."

I have no idea why it is my impulse to present the spot touched to the person touching, despite verbal instructions to the contrary, but I manage to contain myself to a hesitation, and roll the right direction.

She continues to put hands on me, all over, until I feel wonderful.

Thank you.

"Come see me again." I will, now that I know where you are. Thank you, Dr. Lisa.

Lighter and less crunchy, I head to the vampire place, but there are characters in my head, demanding attention. I need a notebook. This rarely happens. As most people who see me in person could complain, a notebook is a contstant companion, and I have inadvertantly made several people uncomfortable by whipping it out to scribble.

They're howling. I need to hurry.

Seeing no live cashiers, and feeling no small degree of urgency, I steel myself to use, for the first time, a self-check aisle. Instead of choosing an open one, I deliberately stand behind a woman who has three items, to watch and learn.

Pretty soon, we'll never need to even see other human beings. I think of Asimov's The Naked Sun, in which this was literally true.

"Yes, no, that's so true. Okay, have fun." She takes her rattling plastic bag and leaves. I'm on my own.

The screen has big square buttons, with their corners rounded off, for increased friendliness. I touch and wait for disaster. It doesn't come. I scan my items across a glass pane. It menaces me with its blank depth. Uh-oh.

***Need Manager Assistance!*** the screen screams at me.


How do I arrange that? It's a cup of coffee, fer cryin' out loud. I don't want to leave without paying for it, but my characters are hollering, and I need to GO. I hit Complete Sale. It gives a total. I feel badly about stealing a cup of coffee. A manager appears at my elbow, like magic. He waves a little card at the glass pane. A sum appears. He points to the Complete Sale button. I touch it. A new total appears. He nods and leaves. We never spoke.

I feed cash to the machine, giving it too much change by mistake because I inserted pennies and nickles before dimes and quarters, and lost track. I retrieve fifteen cents from the slot, with a brief flash of ancient coin-op telephones, and rush from the store with no rattling plastic to distract me from the voices in my head. Ducking into the relative warmth of my car, I scribble madly until my head is quiet.

Now, time to give myself away. My fingers are crossed that I can. The nice lady in the white coat makes me uncross them so she can stick me to do an iron test. The pain of the jab at my fingertip is amplified by the dread that I'll be turned away again.

The dark ball drops steadily in the blue testing liquid. I am good! The blue vial confirms that I am Good!

It takes a long time to drain me of the requisite pint, and when I get up, I am dizzy, which has never happened before in the two-plus decades I've been doing this. "Sit down," the phlebotomist tells me, handing me a Coke- with sugar; ick-ack. I sip it anyway as I sit and watch the end of Groundhog Day.

as I sit and watch the end of Groundhog Day.

as I sit and watch the end of Groundhog Day.

as I sit and watch the end of Groundhog Day.

(With or Without You; U2)